Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday after battling lung cancer, according to his family. His wife Kathryn announced the news on his radio show, Fox News reported. Limbaugh’s death follows his announcement in January 2020 that he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Throughout his battle, Limbaugh continued hosting his radio show, “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
Shortly after his diagnosis, former President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2020. The surprise award at the State of the Union address led to the radio host tearing up as then-first lady Melania Trump placed the medal around his neck.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest award given for a civilian.
Limbaugh launched “The Rush Limbaugh Show” in 1988 and it became the most listened-to radio show in America, according to Fox News. He would go on to become one of the most well-known figures in conservative politics and media.
“I wasn’t expected to be alive today,” Limbaugh told listeners during his last show of 2020. “I wasn’t expected to make it to October, and then to November, and then to December. And yet, here I am, and today, got some problems, but I’m feeling pretty good today.”
Limbaugh is in the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, as well as the Radio Hall of Fame. He was a best-selling author and appeared on TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2009.
Prior to his cancer diagnosis, Limbaugh learned he had an autoimmune disease that affected his hearing beginning in 2001. A few years later in 2003, Limbaugh went into a treatment facility for an addiction to pain medication, according to Fox News.
Limbaugh also worked on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” for a short time in 2003, but resigned after comments he made about an NFL quarterback sparked backlash.
“We love people,” Limbaugh told the crowd. “When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don’t see groups. We don’t see victims. We don’t see people we want to exploit. What we see — what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don’t think that person doesn’t have what it takes.”