Rush Limbaugh Remembered by Dittoheads and Critics Alike: ‘American Icon’ or ‘Career Bigot’

The often controversial personality died at 70 after a battle with lung cancer, and Twitter had a lot to say about it

Last Updated: February 17, 2021 @ 12:23 PM

Reactions over the death of longtime conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh divided Twitter into two camps Wednesday, marking the same kind of polarizing divide that characterized his long broadcast career.

Fans in the conservative political and media space praised him as an “American icon” while critics castigated him as a “career bigot.”

Limbaugh died at the age of 70, after being diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer in February of last year. The news of his passing came from his wife Kathryn, who made the announcement during her husband’s typical show time.

“I know that I am most certainly not the Limbaugh that you tuned in to listen to today,” Kathryn Limbaugh said. “I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now, welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting. … It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.”

Twitter blazed with reactions immediately, with many conservative figures and politicians offering condolences, reminiscing on Limbaugh’s devotion to speaking his mind and beliefs, lauding him as a pioneer for conservatives.

Limbaugh sparked reactions at the other end of the spectrum as well, with some actors and comedians expressing a lack of sympathy over his passing, highlighting the long-term impact of his words.

Fellow radio personalities and television hosts also offered their condolences, as well as perspectives on his impact in the industry. “History counts few entertainers among those who made a difference in the country. Rush Limbaugh did” Bill O’Reilly said. See more reactions below.

Limbaugh received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump at the 2020 State of the Union address, revealing his diagnosis to his listeners the next day.