KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hundreds of Republicans gathered for a tribute to renowned conservative, author and talk show host Rush Limbaugh III at the Statewide Lincoln Days event Friday.
The banquet featured words from Limbaugh’s brother, David, and former Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a long time close friend of Limbaugh. Other speakers included Sen. Josh Hawley and Reps. Jason Smith, Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long. The event also showcased a video highlighting the legacy that Limbaugh left on conservatism and the Republican Party.
Garnering an estimated average of 15.5 million weekly listeners, Limbaugh was the most listened to talk radio host in America. The Rush Limbaugh Show was broadcasted on over 650 radio stations nationwide and many consider him a trailblazer for conservatism as it’s known today. He is also credited as a main contributor to the vast expansion of the Republican Party in the 1990s.
“It was an amazing, inspiring, all-American performance for the conservative cause,” Kinder said about Limbaugh. “Unmatched and unequaled in his category in American history. That’s what we’re paying tribute to.”
In early February of 2020, Limbaugh informed his listeners that he had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Much to everyone’s surprise, he continued to host his show each week over the following year unless he was undergoing treatment. The last show that he hosted was on Feb. 2, 2021 – and less than three weeks later on Feb. 17, Limbaugh passed away.
Limbaugh’s brother said it was his audience that kept him going through it all, and credits listeners for his relentless drive and passion for talk radio.
“I’ve never seen somebody who fought through the adversity he fought through,” David Limbaugh said. “What he ultimately knew is that his audience was more important to him than anything else in his life aside from his family.”
Limbaugh was famous for his unapologetic and candid style of speaking, a style of which millions of Americans resonated with.
“I know people all over America who felt empowered for the first time by somebody saying what they believed and who was not scared to say it,” Kinder said. “Rush reached the truck driver. Rush reached the roofing crew. Rush reached the small shopkeeper. Rush reached construction workers. He reached everyone.”
As one of the most accomplished and revered talk radio hosts in American history, Limbaugh received some of the highest accolades possible.
On Feb. 4, 2020, President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union Address. He was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the National Radio Hall of Fame, and wrote a total of 7 books, including a New York Times Best Seller. He was also a five-time Macroni award winner, an award given to the top on-air personalities in the United States.
Although some on the political left considered him controversial, few will argue that he wasn’t an innovator and pioneer for talk radio and conservatism. Loved and cherished by millions, radio host, Pete Mundo dubbed him “The best friend we all had, but never met.”