US radio talk show host and conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh looks on before introducing US President Donald Trump to deliver remarks at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, MO, on November 5, 2018. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Rush Limbaugh’s advanced lung cancer announcement shocks audience

Originally posted Monday, February 3, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Rush Limbaugh dropped a bombshell on his millions of fans Monday on his radio show, announcing he has “advanced lung cancer.”

Limbaugh, 69, who has been on the air for more than 30 years, said he will have to take some time off for treatment. 

The Palm Beach, Fla. resident said two medical institutions confirmed his illness after he first had issues with breathing January 12.  

“I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about, but I do, and I have been working that relationship tremendously,” he said. "I am, at the moment, experiencing zero symptoms."

LImbaugh, who is heard in Atlanta weekdays on News 95.5 WSB from noon to 3 p.m., said he will take Tuesday and Wednesday off and expects to be back Thursday.

“I hope I will be talking about this as little as necessary in the coming days, but we’ve got a great bunch of doctors, a great team assembled, we’re at full speed ahead on this,” Limbaugh said. “It’s just now a matter of implementing what we are going to be told later this week.”

It’s without saying Limbaugh launched the syndicated political talk radio revolution in the early 1990s and has been its standard bearer ever since.

“I’m terribly saddened by this,” said Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers Magazine, which tracks talk radio. “He’s the most important radio talk show host of all time. His contributions to the industry are unparalleled, not to mention his importance to the national conversation.”

Neal Boortz, the former Atlanta-based syndicated talk show host based out of WSB until 2013, said he was “totally shocked, just blown away” by the news.

He realized that if Limbaugh had never showed up on the talk radio scene, Boortz would have remained as an attorney. He recalled in 1990 a doctor telling him the workload was killing him. “If I was even still alive now, I’d be some nobody in Snellville raising goats,” he said. 

Instead, thanks to Limbaugh, he said, “I got to have the perfect career for an a**hole like me.” 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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