Rush Limbaugh was fired many times and he never once gave up. Those who considered him bad enough to terminate should today admire how he forever changed radio, media, politics, and lives. I got fired once in my life and it lead me into a successful career that would not have been possible without Rush Limbaugh. He single handedly saved AM radio from obscurity. It's the oldest form of broadcast technology and Rush made it his palette to compose the most entertaining and influential radio program of all time. He made AM viable in a time when it was headed to the ash heap. He revolutionized talk radio by making it relevant to people's day to day lives. He was able to explain conservative principles in a way that connected with the masses. Until his death today, he was the most listened to broadcast radio personality in history. He leaves behind a legacy that has shaped what should be considered "excellence" in all forms of communications. Whether it be a crackly AM signal, FM stereo, the iHeartRadio app or a podcast, Rush's influence can be heard on all media.
I first heard Rush in September of 1988. I was working as an admissions recruiter for a small college and was on the road near New York City. I already had an affinity for talk radio and tuned in to WABC. I heard something that day that would change my life. Not only was this talk host speaking to my political ideology, he was also doing it in a way that was entertaining and engaging. Little did I know that moment would be the spark for years of devoted listening and then my own career in talk radio. Twenty years after that first encounter it would be me behind the microphone after being fired from TV news and making the leap to radio. My show's mission has always been to inform, engage, and entertain. Now you know what inspired it. Whether you agree or disagree with Rush, he was and forever will be the G.O.A.T. of radio.
Rush Limbaugh, 1951-1971
Rush Limbaugh was the conservative host who has defined political talk radio for more than 30 years. His wife Kathryn announced his passing at the start of his program today. He was 70 years old. Limbaugh, who announced that he had lung cancer last year, died this morning at his home in Florida.
Best known as the host of the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh was the author of seven books and hosted a national television show in the 1990s. During last year’s State of the Union address he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump.
Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Limbaugh started his career as a disc jockey in 1971, and, after working at several local radio stations, he began broadcasting nationally in 1988.
Limbaugh has been a prominent voice for American conservatives since the 1990s, and, despite numerous controversies, he was able to maintain the largest audience in radio.
(Photo courtesy Getty Images)