Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was an American conservative political commentator who was the host of The Rush Limbaugh Show, which first aired in 1984 and was nationally syndicated on AM and FM radio stations from 1988 until his death in 2021.
153 Facts About Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh was among the most highly paid figures in American radio history; in 2018 Forbes listed his earnings at $84.5 million.
In December 2019, Talkers Magazine estimated that Rush Limbaugh's show attracted a cumulative weekly audience of 15.5 million listeners to become the most-listened-to radio show in the United States.
Rush Limbaugh wrote seven books; his first two, The Way Things Ought to Be and See, I Told You So, made The New York Times Best Seller list.
Rush Limbaugh and his younger brother David were born into the prominent political Limbaugh family; his father was a lawyer and a United States fighter pilot who served in the China Burma India Theater of World War II.
The name "Rush Limbaugh" was originally chosen for his grandfather to honor the maiden name of a family member, Edna Rush Limbaugh.
In 1969 Rush Limbaugh graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School, where he played football and was a Boys State delegate.
Rush Limbaugh used the airname Rusty Sharpe having found "Sharpe" in a telephone book.
In February 1971, after dropping out of college, the 20-year-old Rush Limbaugh accepted an offer to DJ at WIXZ, a Top 40 station in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
Rush Limbaugh adopted the airname "Bachelor Jeff" Christie and worked afternoons before moving to morning drive.
In 1973, after eighteen months at WIXZ, Rush Limbaugh was fired from the station due to "personality conflict" with the program director.
Rush Limbaugh then started a nighttime position at KQV in Pittsburgh, succeeding Jim Quinn.
In late 1974, Rush Limbaugh was dismissed after new management put pressure on the program director to fire him.
Rush Limbaugh recalled the general manager telling him that he would never land success as an air personality and suggested a career in radio sales.
In 1975, Rush Limbaugh began an afternoon show at the Top 40 station KUDL in Kansas City, Missouri.
Rush Limbaugh soon became the host of a public affairs talk program that aired on weekend mornings which allowed him to develop his style and present more controversial ideas.
Rush Limbaugh said that business trips to Europe and Asia during this time developed his conservative views as he considered countries in those geographic areas to have lower standards of living than the United States.
In November 1983, Rush Limbaugh returned to radio at KMBZ in Kansas City for a year.
Rush Limbaugh decided to drop his on-air moniker and broadcast under his real name.
Rush Limbaugh was fired from the station, but weeks later he landed a spot on KFBK in Sacramento, California, replacing Morton Downey Jr.
Rush Limbaugh began to express his political opinions in 1985 when he mocked the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, which he considered along with the general anti-war movement to be "inherently anti-US, yet was reported as substantive and morally correct by a willing and sympathetic media".
Rush Limbaugh began his new show at WABC-AM on July 4,1988, with the first episode focusing on the Iran Air Flight 655 shootdown the previous day.
Rush Limbaugh debuted just weeks after the Democratic National Convention, and just weeks before the Republican National Convention.
Rush Limbaugh's show moved on January 1,2014, to WABC's cross-town rival WOR, its final New York outlet.
In December 1990, journalist Lewis Grossberger wrote in The New York Times Magazine that Rush Limbaugh had "more listeners than any other talk show host" and described Rush Limbaugh's style as "bouncing between earnest lecturer and political vaudevillian".
Rush Limbaugh's rising profile coincided with the Gulf War, and his support for the war effort and his relentless ridicule of peace activists.
Bush's campaign subsequently worked to court Rush Limbaugh, culminating with an invitation to stay overnight at the White House's Lincoln Bedroom.
Rush Limbaugh was given a seat at the president's box in the Houston Astrodome during the 1992 Republican National Convention, and both President Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle appeared on Rush Limbaugh's program.
Rush Limbaugh satirized the policies of Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, as well as those of the Democratic Party in general.
In 1995, Rush Limbaugh started selling a line of neckties under the brand No Boundaries Collection, designed by his then-wife Marta without themes, ties to politics, or ties to issues.
Rush Limbaugh complained about coverage of the line, which he said underrated the ties' radicalness, and said media descriptions were emblematic of their general inaccuracy.
Rush Limbaugh was able to regain much of his hearing with the help of a cochlear implant in 2001.
In 2003, Rush Limbaugh had a brief stint as a professional football commentator with ESPN.
In 2003, Rush Limbaugh stated that he was addicted to pain medication, and sought treatment.
Rush Limbaugh himself said that the reports were overblown and that it was a matter of routine dollars-and-cents negotiations between Cumulus and his network syndication partner, Premiere Networks, a unit of Clear Channel Communications.
Ultimately, the parties reached agreement on a new contract, with Rush Limbaugh's show moving from its long-time flagship outlet in New York, the Cumulus-owned WABC, to the latter's cross-town rival, the Clear Channel-owned WOR, starting January 1,2014, but remaining on the Cumulus-owned stations it was being carried on in other markets.
In January 2021, Rush Limbaugh called the GameStop short squeeze "the most fascinating thing" to happen in a long time and said that "the elites are bent out of shape that a bunch of average, ordinary users have figured out how to make themselves billionaires".
Rush Limbaugh's radio show aired for three hours each weekday beginning at noon Eastern Time on both AM and FM radio.
Rush Limbaugh's show was first nationally syndicated in August 1988, on the AM radio band.
Rush Limbaugh's popularity paved the way for other conservative talk radio programming to become commonplace on AM radio.
Rush Limbaugh used props, songs, and photos to introduce his monologues on various topics.
In March 2006, WBAL in Baltimore became the first major market radio station in the country to drop Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio program.
Rush Limbaugh frequently mentioned the EIB Network, trademarked in 1990.
Rush Limbaugh owned a majority of the show, which is syndicated by the Premiere Radio Networks.
Rush Limbaugh signed a $400-million, eight-year contract in 2008 with what was then Clear Channel Communications, making him the highest-paid broadcaster on terrestrial radio.
In 2018, Rush Limbaugh was the world's second highest-paid radio host, reportedly earning $84.5 million.
Rush Limbaugh had a syndicated half-hour television show from 1992 through 1996, produced by Roger Ailes.
Rush Limbaugh said he loved doing his radio show, but not a TV show.
On December 17,1993, Rush Limbaugh appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Rush Limbaugh guest-starred on a 1994 episode of Hearts Afire.
Rush Limbaugh appeared in the 1995 Billy Crystal film Forget Paris, and in 1998 on an episode of The Drew Carey Show.
That year, he made a cameo in the Family Guy episode "Blue Harvest", a parody of Star Wars in which Rush Limbaugh can be heard on the radio claiming that the "liberal galactic media" were lying about climate change on the planet Hoth, and that Lando Calrissian's administrative position on Cloud City was a result of affirmative action.
Rush Limbaugh called for the adoption of core conservative philosophies in order to ensure the survival of the Republican Party.
Rush Limbaugh was known for making controversial race-related statements regarding African Americans.
Rush Limbaugh asserted in 2008 that African Americans, in contrast with other minority groups, are "left behind" socially because they have been systematically trained from a young age to hate the United States because of the welfare state.
Rush Limbaugh argued that liberal politicians have encouraged immigration from Latin America but have discouraged their assimilation to deliberately create racial inequality to manipulate as a voter base, and that their continued admission will cause a collapse of representative democracy and rule of law in the United States.
Rush Limbaugh criticized the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 for this reason.
Rush Limbaugh has called for fewer taxes, including progressive taxes targeted towards the wealthy, and argued the wealthy were being taxed excessively because they continued to pay the majority of taxes in the United States.
Rush Limbaugh further claimed that reductions in marginal tax rates would reduce poverty and inequality by removing obstacles towards economic growth, and that reducing marginal tax rates on the wealthy would increase tax revenue by increasing production.
When Freddie Mercury died of complications from AIDS in 1991, Rush Limbaugh played a snippet of "Another One Bites the Dust".
Rush Limbaugh viewed consent as "the magic key to the left".
Rush Limbaugh had been an outspoken critic of what he saw as leniency towards criminal drug use in the United States.
On his television show on October 5,1995, Rush Limbaugh stated, "too many whites are getting away with drug use" and illegal drug trafficking.
Rush Limbaugh proposed that the racial disparity in drug enforcement could be fixed if authorities increased detection efforts, conviction rates and jail time for whites involved in illegal drugs.
Rush Limbaugh defended mandatory-minimum sentencing as an effective tool against the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s.
Rush Limbaugh accused advocates of legalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States of hypocrisy due to their advocacy of tobacco control and backlash against electronic cigarettes, and compared the advocates for its legalization in Colorado to Big Tobacco.
Rush Limbaugh rejected the relationship between CFCs and depletion of the ozone layer, claiming the scientific evidence did not support them.
Rush Limbaugh argued against the scientific consensus on climate change claiming it was "just a bunch of scientists organized around a political proposition" and argued that projections of climate change were the product of ideologically motivated computer simulations without the proper support of empirical data, a claim which has been widely debunked.
Rush Limbaugh used the term "environmentalist wacko" both when referring to left-leaning environmental advocates, and when referring to more mainstream climate scientists and other environmental scientists and advocates with whom he disagreed.
Rush Limbaugh opposed pollution credits, including a carbon cap-and-trade system, as a way to disproportionately benefit major American investment banks, particularly Goldman Sachs, and claimed that it would destroy the American national economy.
Rush Limbaugh strongly opposed the proposed Green New Deal and its sponsor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Rush Limbaugh was critical of feminism, which he viewed as advancing only liberals and not women in general.
Rush Limbaugh has regularly used the term "feminazi", described by The New York Times in 1994 as one of his "favorite epithets for supporters of women's rights".
Rush Limbaugh credited his friend Tom Hazlett, a professor of law and economics at George Mason University, with coining the term.
For two weeks in 1989, on his Sacramento radio show, Rush Limbaugh performed "caller abortions" where he would end a call suddenly to the sounds of a vacuum cleaner and a scream.
Rush Limbaugh was supportive of the Iraq War, and first suggested bombing Ba'athist Iraq in 2002 in revenge for the September 11 attacks.
On January 6,2020, during an interview with President Donald Trump on his show, Rush Limbaugh commended him for the strike.
In 1993, Rush Limbaugh supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, joking in response to claims that it would lead to a transfer of unskilled labor to Mexico that this would leave the United States with only better jobs.
Rush Limbaugh strongly opposed Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election, and spread false claims that Obama was a non-citizen not born in the United States.
Rush Limbaugh predicted that Obama would be unable to win the election.
Rush Limbaugh frequently referred to the Obama administration or presidency as regime or as the Obama regime, or even junta.
Rush Limbaugh accused Obama of using his race to prevent criticism of his policies, and said he was successful in his first year in office only because conservative members of the 111th Congress feared accusations of racism.
Rush Limbaugh featured a recurring skit in which his colleague James Golden, who described himself as an "African-American-in-good-standing-and-certified-black-enough-to-criticize-Obama guy", appeared in a cameo as the "Official EIB Obama Criticizer".
Rush Limbaugh blamed Obama's foreign policy, including the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, for allowing the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Rush Limbaugh was critical of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including of Obama's decision to ratify it as an executive agreement, and claimed that it was used as a pretext for surveillance against Obama's political opponents.
Rush Limbaugh argued that side agreements of the JCPOA limited transparency and would obligate the United States to militarily defend Iran against an Israeli offensive, including a preemptive strike to prevent nuclear weapons development.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that both the media and the government, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deliberately downplayed its symptoms, expressing skepticism over the scientific consensus that the disease could be spread only through contact with bodily fluids and was not aerosol transmissible.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull were God's response to the Affordable Care Act being passed.
Rush Limbaugh was consistently supportive of the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump, although he endorsed Ted Cruz during the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries and took issue with Trump's treatment of Cruz.
Rush Limbaugh later criticized Cruz's hesitance to endorse Trump after his nomination at the 2016 Republican National Convention, comparing it to Ted Kennedy's lukewarm support of Jimmy Carter at the 1980 Democratic National Convention.
Rush Limbaugh was dismissive of controversies over links between Trump associates and Russian officials.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that the FBI investigations of Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, as well as the subsequent Special Counsel investigation directed by Robert Mueller, were orchestrated by Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to undermine the legitimacy of Trump's presidency, constituting an illegal coup d'etat.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that George Papadopoulos was entrapped by the FBI, which he claimed Joseph Mifsud was an informant for, through Stefan Halper as part of an "insurance policy" against Trump's election by the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
Rush Limbaugh advocated a full presidential pardon for all suspects indicted or convicted by the investigation.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that allegations of obstruction of justice were leveled at Trump due to the Report's conclusion that Trump did not directly collude with Russian officials, and that Trump's intent to fire Mueller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions was legitimate.
Rush Limbaugh supported the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity as well as Trump's claims that he lost the popular vote due to voter impersonation by illegal immigrants.
Rush Limbaugh claimed that the October 2018 United States mail bombing attempts were perpetuated as a false flag operation to draw public attention away from Central American migrant caravans.
Rush Limbaugh reiterated these claims two weeks after the arrest of the primary suspect Cesar Sayoc, a registered Republican.
On his show, Rush Limbaugh said that the Christchurch mosque shootings of March 2019 may have been a false-flag operation.
Rush Limbaugh described "an ongoing theory" that the shooter was actually "a leftist" trying to smear the right.
Comedian Al Franken, who later became a Senator, wrote a satirical 1996 book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, in which he accused Limbaugh of distorting facts to serve his own political biases.
Rush Limbaugh was heavily criticized for mocking Hu Jintao, then the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and paramount leader of the People's Republic of China, and the Chinese language during an episode.
On October 14,2011, Rush Limbaugh questioned the US Armed Forces initiative against Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, based on the assumption that they were Christians.
In 2010, after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Rush Limbaugh speculated on his show that eco-terrorists deliberately destroyed the oil well to justify President Obama's deepwater drilling moratorium.
Rush Limbaugh claimed without evidence that the police response had been deliberately restrained by Terry McAuliffe as a botched attempt to start a presidential bid in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, and that it was part of a campaign by "international financiers" such as George Soros to start a Second American Civil War to remove its status as a global superpower.
In October 2006, Limbaugh said Michael J Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, had exaggerated the effects of his disability in a political TV advertisement advocating for funding of stem cell research.
In 2007, Media Matters reported that Rush Limbaugh had categorized Iraq War veterans opposed to the war as "the phony soldiers".
Rush Limbaugh later said that he was speaking of Jesse MacBeth, a soldier who falsely claimed to have been decorated for valor but, in fact, had never seen combat.
Rush Limbaugh said Media Matters was trying to smear him with out-of-context and selectively edited comments.
Rush Limbaugh said he would match the donation and give it to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.
The NFL team moved to St Louis, Missouri, and Rush Limbaugh wanted to be a partial owner, but in October 2009, the group that planned to buy the Rams, dropped him.
On February 29,2012, Rush Limbaugh, while talking about contraceptive mandates, included remarks about law student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" and "prostitute".
Rush Limbaugh was commenting on Fluke's speech the previous week to House Democrats in support of mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives.
Rush Limbaugh made numerous similar statements over the next two days, leading to the loss of 45 to "more than 100" local and national sponsors and Rush Limbaugh's apology on his show for some of his comments.
Rush Limbaugh's statement was called "wildly irresponsible" by The Washington Post.
From 1990 until his death, Rush Limbaugh held an annual fundraising telethon called the "EIB Cure-a-Thon" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Rush Limbaugh donated $320,000 during the 2007 Cure-a-Thon, which the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society reported had raised $3.1 million.
On his radio program April 18,2008, Rush Limbaugh pledged $400,000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after being challenged by two listeners to increase his initial pledge of $300,000.
The foundation was the beneficiary of a record $2.1 million eBay auction in October 2007 after Rush Limbaugh listed for sale a letter critical of him signed by 41 Democratic senators; he pledged to match the selling price.
Rush Limbaugh withdrew the sneaker after their spokesman Colin Kaepernick raised concerns that the symbol represented an era of black enslavement.
In 1992, Rush Limbaugh published his first book, The Way Things Ought to Be, followed by See, I Told You So, the following year.
Rush Limbaugh received the Author of the Year Award from the Children's Book Council for this work.
Rush Limbaugh was first married at the age of 26 to Roxy Maxine McNeely, a sales secretary at radio station WHB in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1983, Rush Limbaugh married Michelle Sixta, a college student and usherette at the Kansas City Royals Stadium Club.
On May 27,1994, Rush Limbaugh married Marta Fitzgerald, a 35-year-old aerobics instructor whom he met on the online service CompuServe in 1990.
In September 2004, Rush Limbaugh became romantically involved with then-CNN news anchor Daryn Kagan; the relationship ended in February 2006.
Rush Limbaugh lived in Palm Beach from 1996 until his death in 2021.
Rush Limbaugh dated Kathryn Rogers, a party planner from Florida, for three years; the couple married on June 5,2010.
At the wedding reception following the ceremony, Elton John entertained the wedding guests for a reported $1 million fee; however, Rush Limbaugh himself denied that the $1 million figure was accurate on his September 7,2010, radio show.
On October 3,2003, the National Enquirer reported that Rush Limbaugh was being investigated for illegally obtaining the prescription drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Rush Limbaugh admitted to listeners on his radio show on October 10,2003, that he was addicted to prescription painkillers and stated that he would enter inpatient treatment for 30 days, immediately after the broadcast.
Rush Limbaugh stated his addiction to painkillers resulted from several years of severe back pain heightened by a botched surgery intended to correct those problems.
Rush Limbaugh's attorney opposed the prosecutor's efforts to interview his doctors on the basis of patient privacy rights, and argued that the prosecutor had violated Rush Limbaugh's Fourth Amendment rights by illegally seizing his medical records.
Rush Limbaugh was then released after about an hour on $3,000 bail.
In 2009, after three years of prolonged discussion regarding a settlement, prosecutors agreed to drop the charge if Rush Limbaugh paid $30,000 to defray the cost of the investigation, completed an 18-month therapy regimen with his physician, submitted to random drug testing, and gave up his right to own a firearm for eighteen months.
Rush Limbaugh agreed to the settlement, though he continued to maintain his innocence of doctor shopping and asserted that the state's offer resulted from a lack of evidence supporting the charge.
In June 2006, Rush Limbaugh was detained by drug enforcement agents at Palm Beach International Airport.
When questioned whether Rush Limbaugh's sudden hearing loss was caused by his addiction to opioids, his cochlear implant doctor, otolaryngologist Jennifer Derebery, said that it was possible, but that there is no way to know for sure without performing tests that would destroy Rush Limbaugh's hearing completely.
In 2005, Rush Limbaugh was forced to undergo "tuning" due to an "eye twitch", an apparent side-effect of cochlear implants.
On December 30,2009, while vacationing in Honolulu, Hawaii, Rush Limbaugh was admitted to Queen's Medical Center with intense chest pains.
Rush Limbaugh advised he would miss airtime to undergo treatment, and that he would try to continue the program "as normally and competently" as he could.
On October 20,2020, Rush Limbaugh announced that treatment had been ineffectual at containing the cancer, that his diagnosis was terminal, and that he had been given a time frame on when he should expect to die.
Rush Limbaugh made his last radio broadcast on February 2,2021.
Rush Limbaugh was interred at the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.
Rush Limbaugh was widely recognized as one of the leading voices of the conservative movement in the United States, beginning in the 1990s.
From 1994, Rush Limbaugh served as the inspiration for the character of Birch Barlow, a conservative radio talk show host on The Simpsons.
Rush Limbaugh refused to be interviewed, but his mother, brother, and many Republican supporters took part, as well as critics and opponents.
Rush Limbaugh was awarded the Marconi Radio Award for Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year by the National Association of Broadcasters five times: 1992,1995,2000,2005, and 2014.
Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998.
Rush Limbaugh is given much of the credit for having revived AM radio at a time when most people had switched to FM.
Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on May 14,2012, in a secret ceremony announced only 20 minutes before it began in order to prevent negative media attention.
On February 4,2020, the day after he announced that he had advanced lung cancer, Rush Limbaugh was a guest of President Donald Trump at the 2020 State of the Union Address, where he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Melania Trump.