Washington: Provocative and polarising US talk radio luminary Rush Limbaugh, a leading voice on the American political right since the 1980s who boosted and was honoured by former president Donald Trump, has died at the age of 70 after suffering from lung cancer, his family has announced.
Limbaugh, who pioneered the American media phenomenon of conservative talk radio and became an enthusiastic combatant in the US culture wars, had announced in February 2020 that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
Limbaugh’s appeal and the success of his top-rated radio show arose from his brash and colourful style, his delight in baiting liberals and Democrats and his promotion of conservative and Republican causes and politicians. His radio show became nationally syndicated in 1988 and quickly built a large and committed following, making him wealthy in the process.
Trump, a former reality TV personality with a showman’s instincts who pursued right-wing populism during four years in the White House, awarded Limbaugh the highest US civilian honour – the Presidential Medal of Freedom – during his 2020 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.