Rush Limbaugh, the controversial US radio personality and political commentator, has died aged 70.
His wife Kathryn Adams announced his death on his radio show on Wednesday. He had been suffering from lung cancer.
The radio icon learned he had Stage IV lung cancer in January 2020 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Trump at the State of the Union address days later. First lady Melania Trump then presented America’s highest civilian honor to Limbaugh in an emotional moment on the heels of his devastating cancer diagnosis.
“Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” President Trump said during the address.
Speaking on Fox News after Limbaugh’s death, Mr Trump called the radio host “irreplaceable”.
Best known as the host of the long-running talk radio programme The Rush Limbaugh Show, he was a towering figure in the conservative movement for years.
Three presidents appeared on his show, and he received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020.
But he was as controversial as he was influential, voicing racist, sexist and homophobic views throughout his career.
The climate change denier peddled numerous conspiracy theories on the air, staunchly opposed immigration, and was a hard-line advocate for US exceptionalism.
In 1988 his radio show became nationally syndicated, broadcast live on hundreds of radio stations around the country. By 2020, it attracted around 27 million listeners each week.
The programme and its host developed huge influence in the Republican Party and the US conservative movement.