This past week, Rush Limbaugh passed away after a long struggle with lung cancer.
This news shocked me. I was homeschooled and listening to his show was a daily routine for me. At 11 o’clock, my mom turned on the radio to AM 1400 and until two o’clock in the afternoon, Rush Limbaugh’s voice permeated through our home.
It is because of this man that I decided to major in journalism and get my minor in political science. It is because of this man that I have a deep interest in politics. It is because of this man that I was named Reagan.
For those of you who may not know, Limbaugh was a conservative radio talk show host. He is a member of the Radio Hall of Fame and author of many books including a historical fiction series for children. For over 30 years, Limbaugh hosted The Rush Limbaugh show on the EIB network.
According to Biography.com, Limbaugh was born Rush Hudson Limbaugh III in 1951 in Missouri. Limbaugh began his radio experience at the ripe old age of nine when his parents gave him a toy transmitter for Christmas. The toy transmitted AM frequencies of up to 500 feet away and gave Limbaugh many happy hours playing records in his bedroom.
In high school, Limbaugh got his first radio job under the name of Rusty Sharpe. After one full year of college, he dropped out to pursue a career in radio. At first he was quite unsuccessful. He was fired many times for having controversial views. “My family thought I was destined for failure,” he said.
Finally, Limbaugh had his break in Sacramento, California. He took over Morton Downey Jr.’s time slot and in less than a year surpassed his predecessor’s success and became the top radio host in Sacramento.
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission made a decision that allowed Limbaugh to become the man we know him as today. The FCC repealed a rule that required equal air time for both liberal and conservative views. Because this was repealed, Limbaugh was now able to create a radio show focused on one side of the political aisle.
On Aug. 1, 1988, The Rush Limbaugh Show was born when it aired on ABC Radio. The show has now grown to air on over 600 stations all across the nation.
Limbaugh wrote a best seller in 1992 titled “The Way Things Ought To Be” and in 1993 he published another titled “See, I Told You So.” This same year he was inducted into the Radio hall of fame and five years later, in 1998, he ws inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
In 2013, Limbaugh, distressed by the lack of interest in history among young children, released the first book in his historical fiction series “Rush Revere.” After the success of this book, “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims,” he published four more. “Rush Revere and the First Patriots” and “Rush Revere and the American Revolution” in 2014, “Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner” in 2015 and finally concluded the series in 2016 with “Rush Revere and the Presidency.”
Limbaugh continued his successful radio show influencing aspiring political commentators all over the nation. In February 2020 he revealed his battle with lung cancer. Not long after he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor by former President Donald Trump. After this, Limbaugh kept a low profile and stayed out of the public eye as he battled the cancer. On Feb. 17, one year and 13 days after his announcement, Limbaugh passed away.
As I said before many were influenced by Limbaugh, including conservative podcaster Ben Shapiro. “The fact is that Rush shaped millions of us. I grew up listening to Rush, and so did virtually every conservative of my age group,” Shapiro said in a video posted on his Youtube account Feb. 17. “All of us in the conservative media owe the existence of an alternative media to the outsized personality and outsized talent of Rush Limbaugh for sure.”
Limbaugh was truly a giant of his time and his thoughts and ideas shaped many political opinions today. Whether you loved him or hated him, you have to admit his absence will be felt by America.