Rush Limbaugh Dead At 70 After Stage IV Lung Cancer Battle

has passed away at the age of 70 after a lengthy with .

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His widow, Kathryn, shared the news with his listeners on his radio show on Wednesday, February 17.

Limbaugh transformed talk radio and politics with his show, and for his efforts he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last January. The Rush Limbaugh Show was syndicated in 1988 and still going strong, with the polarizing pundit taking home $70 million for his radio broadcasts in 2020 alone according to Forbes. He also wrote a number of books for both children and adults, and was worth an estimated $600 million at the time of his death.

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He was a self-made man in every sense of the word, dropping out of college after just one year at Southeast Missouri State University. He already had his mind set in a career on radio, and soon after leaving school he scored his first job. He made memorable but short-lived appearances on a number of radio stations for the next 15 years, but got his big break on August 5, 1987 thanks to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine had, until that time, required any radio program that promoted or supported any sort of controversial opinion or viewpoint to allot an equal amount of time for an opposing response on-air. This had caused a number of problems for Limbaugh to that point, and with it out of the way he found himself syndicated less than a year after the repeal.

He went to work for ABC Radio in New York City, and by 1990 was reported to have more listeners than any other radio host. His popularity soared even higher after the election of Bill Clinton, who was a frequent target of Limbaugh’s attacks. Roger Ailes tapped into Limbaugh’s growing appeal among right-wing Americans and produced a show with him between 1992 and 1996 that became the model in many ways for Fox  News.

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