Rush Limbaugh’s wife says he was ‘just shy of a president’ in on-air tribute to broadcaster

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Gustaf Kilander
·3 min read
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Obit Rush Limbaugh (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Obit Rush Limbaugh (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Kathryn Limbaugh, the widow of conservative firebrand and powerful radio host Rush Limbaugh, said that her late husband was “just shy of a president,” in her opinion.

Mr Limbaugh died on 17 February after a battle with lung cancer at the age of 70. His funeral was held on 24 February.

Speaking to the guest host of Mr Limbaugh’s show Todd Herman, Ms Limbaugh said: “I’m doing okay. Of course, it’s a very difficult time. But I really, truly feel we are all going through this process together, and it’s very much a process. And I think it helps us to all be together and grieve in a sense and keep our Rush with us in that way.”

She said that his funeral was held on an “absolutely gorgeous day, slightly chilly, but nothing like the snow that Missouri had had a few days prior. The sun was shining brightly and the really crisp air and this cemetery is very historic.”

Mr Limbaugh was buried at a private cemetery in St Louis, Missouri, USA Today and the Associated Press reported.

Ms Limbaugh said: “It has a lot of historic figures such as William Clark of Lewis and Clark’s expedition and others.

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“And just to picture it, it might remind you a bit of Arlington or other historic cemeteries around the world, with winding hills and pathways and big trees that are bare right now but in the upcoming months, they will be full and green and very lovely to walk around.”

“I’ve always said Rush is just shy of a president, in my opinion,” she added.

She said “there was a horse-drawn carriage,” waiting for Mr Limbaugh at the cemetery when she arrived.

“It was simply stunning,” she said and added that “he was greeted by many when he arrived back home”.

“He was a gentleman. He was kind, but also, he was very funny,” Ms Limbaugh said of her husband whom she married in 2010 after dating for three years. Mr Limbaugh had been married three times previously.

Mr Limbaugh inspired and incensed listeners over his more than 30 years long career behind the microphone. He peddled conspiracy theories and straight out lies as he took hold of the conservative movement with a radio show that would make him a rich man. Forbes reported that Premiere Radio Networks paid him $70m a year for his show.

Becoming a close confidant of former President Donald Trump, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the 2020 State of the Union.

Mr Limbaugh was often purposefully controversial during his broadcasts. On the 22 February episode of the podcast The Daily by The New York Times, reporter Jim Rutenberg said of Limbaugh: “He did something for a time, he called it the Aids Update. And that’s when he would read the latest grim news from the Aids epidemic. And he would mock it with like a song, like a Dionne Warwick song, ‘I’ll Never Love This Way Again,’ or Gene Autry's ‘Back in the Saddle Again’. People were dying indiscriminately. This was a horrible moment. And in fact, that’s one of the few things in his entire career that he later apologised for.”

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