(KMOX) - Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has died. His wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his show Wednesday.
Limbaugh, 70, was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo. in 1951.
He announced in January of 2020 that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Since then he was taking some time away from his radio show and doing broadcasts at home, also due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.
The sometimes controversial voice has been hosting The Rush Limbaugh Show since the 1980s, which grew to an estimated listening audience of about 20 million people per week. His daily three-hour show aired on about 600 radio stations across the county, including KMOX 1120 in St. Louis.
He was known to express some controversial views on topics of race, sexual consent and has made some wild accusations.
In 2003 he resigned from ESPN after saying then Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb was being overrated because he is Black. In 2014 he talked about his disdain of Ohio State University’s new sexual assault code, which requires that partners get "consent" for every sexual act, among other things. In 2006, Limbaugh accused actor Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson's disease symptoms, saying "He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act."
Limbaugh became one of the most popular conservative radio hosts in America and has been partially credited for Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives in the 1994 election. His role with conservatives was compared to what Oprah means to women, by Vanity Fair in a 2009 feature.
He was awarded the Medal of Freedom last February, during the State of the Union address by former President Donald Trump. He deactivated his Twitter account in January, following the social media platform's decision to ban Trump for life.
His radio career began at his hometown in Missouri at KGMO, then worked in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, where he was fired for injecting his opinions into newscasts.
He launched his own show, The Rush Limbaugh Show, in 1988.