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Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was a conservative American radio talk show host. His program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, is the most listened to talk-radio program in the United States, according to December 2015 estimates. He is most notable for his strong conservative opinions and his stance against what he perceives as liberal media bias. According to a Forbes 2015 survey, he is the 11th-highest paid celebrity in the world.
Limbaugh worked in music radio until 1984, when he took a job as a radio talk show host at KFBK in San Francisco. He made a name for himself espousing controversial opinions following the repeal of the FCC's Fairness Doctrine, which had required that stations provide air time for rebuttals of controversial takes. His success brought him to New York City in 1988, when he debuted his national radio show during the 1988 Presidential Election.
In the 90s, he continued to grow his influence by ridiculing peace activists of the Persian Gulf War and the policies of the Bill Clinton administration.
In 2003, Limbaugh was briefly an NFL commentator for ESPN, until a few weeks into the 2003 season, when he opined that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because of the media's desire to see black athletes and coaches do well. After the comments, Limbaugh resigned.
The same year, Limbaugh admitted he was addicted to pain medication. In 2006, he turned himself into the authorities following a warrant for his arrest on "a single charge of prescription charge."
In 2013, news reports that Cumulus Media, who broadcast Limbaugh's show in certain major markets, were considering dropping Limbaugh because of belief that his controversial opinions were hurting advertising revenue. Ultimately, the sides agreed on a new contract that moved Limbaugh's show from WABC to WOR.
In 2020, Limbaugh announced he had advanced lung cancer. On February 17th, 2021, his wife announced he had passed away during his scheduled radio program.
BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh, a talk radio host who became the voice of American conservatism, has died at age 70 after a battle with cancer. https://t.co/KI7pNH6tQq— The Associated Press (@AP) February 17, 2021
Social Media Presence
Limbaugh is extremely popular with conservatives, having gained dozens of awards from Conservative media groups. However, his views have drawn the ire of many in the middle and left of the American political spectrum. He has made several racially insensitive comments, including "all newspaper composite pictures of wanted criminals resembled Jesse Jackson," and "the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons."
He is also extremely critical of feminism, and is credited as popularizing the term feminazi. Other notable controversies include him accusing Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson's disease on television to promote stem cell research, accusing Iraq War veterans opposed to the war as "phony soldiers," and calling law student Sandra Fluke, who had recently appealed to House Democrats about mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives, a "slut" and "prostitute.
On his show, Rush Limbaugh has pushed conspiracy theories with little supporting evidence, which has made him the target of online ridicule.
In August of 2016, Limbaugh pushed a conservative theory that Barack Obama was sending Lesbian Farmers to rural states in America in order to turn them blue, which led to an outpouring of mockery from the LGBTQ community.
Weird Twitter Troll
In October 2016, he fell for a Weird Twitter troll tweet in which Twitter user RandyGDub said he was a Columbus Ohio post office worker who loved to rip up absentee ballots for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He reported it on his show as a fact and was roundly mocked by media outlets, including MSNBC's Chris Hayes.