Rush Limbaugh (born January 12, 1951 – died February 17, 2021) was a prominent [American conservative]( radio talk show host, political commentator, and author. He was best known for his long-running talk radio show, "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which aired for over three decades, from 1988 to 2021. With his controversial and polarizing personality, Limbaugh played a significant role in shaping American conservative politics and media during his career. ## Early life and radio career Born Rush Hudson Limbaugh III in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, he came from a family with a tradition of working in law and politics. Limbaugh graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School in 1969 and briefly attended Southeast Missouri State University before dropping out to pursue a career in radio. Limbaugh's radio career began in 1971, working as a disc jockey under the pseudonym "Rusty Sharpe" for a local radio station in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He then moved on to several other radio stations, including KQV in Pittsburgh and KUDL in Kansas City, as both a disc jockey and news commentator. ## The Rush Limbaugh Show In 1988, Limbaugh moved to New York City and began hosting "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on WABC. The show was nationally syndicated, and its popularity rapidly grew, leading to it becoming one of the most listened-to radio talk shows in the United States. Known for his outspoken conservative views, Limbaugh garnered a loyal following, who called themselves "Dittoheads." Over the years, Limbaugh tackled various political and social issues, often expressing his opinions in a confrontational and controversial manner. He was unapologetically conservative and critical of [liberal politicians and policies]( The success of his radio show helped to pave the way for other conservative talk radio programs and contributed to the rise of [[conservative media]] in the United States. In addition to his radio show, Limbaugh authored several books, including "The Way Things Ought to Be" (1992) and "See, I Told You So" (1993), which both became New York Times bestsellers. He also made appearances on television, including a brief stint as a television talk show host for "The Rush Limbaugh Show" from 1992 to 1996. Limbaugh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993 and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998. ## Limbaugh controversies Throughout his career, Limbaugh was no stranger to controversy. He often faced criticism for his divisive comments, which sometimes included personal attacks on public figures or derogatory statements. Critics accused him of promoting misinformation, [conspiracy theories](, and contributing to the [polarization of American politics]( He was one of the most influential conservative voices of his time, helping to shape the Republican Party's messaging and agenda. Limbaugh, along with other polarizing and highly partisan figures including [[Newt Gingrich]], [[Roger Ailes]], [[Glenn Beck]], [[Ann Coulter]], [[Laura Ingraham]] and others are pointed to by historians as having played a key role in the rise of [[conservative media]] and its attendant political vitriol in the 1990s -- through to modern day. ## Personal life and death Limbaugh was married four times, most recently to Kathryn Rogers in 2010. He had no children. In February 2020, he announced that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Despite his diagnosis, he continued to host his radio show until shortly before his death. On February 17, 2021, Rush Limbaugh passed away at the age of 70. See also: [[negative partisanship]]