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Rush Limbaugh was more than a talk radio host. Rush Limbaugh was talk radio. He was a visionary and the voice of a generation. His talents, devotion, and influence are irreplaceable.

In 1988, Rush was the first nationally-syndicated radio show on AM. For three hours each day for 33 years, he guided millions of eager listeners across the country with common sense, humor, and verve. His themes were freedom, patriotism, and the basic decency of the American people, the type of people that Washington D.C. is supposed to listen to but often ignores or forgets. This plainspoken, profound understanding of America is why his show spoke up for millions of people, reached millions more, but never spoke down to anyone.

Rush achieved towering success as a political commentator. Yet those that loved him knew his mission in life was bigger than politics. His extensive charity work for over thirty years revealed the true character of this American patriot. Among the many beneficiaries were first responders, cancer patients, and the children of fallen Marines and law enforcement officers. Through his deeds, Rush demonstrated that our freedom and success as Americans came with corresponding responsibilities, including philanthropy. 

Rush’s legacy, therefore, goes beyond being a conservative icon. It is about American greatness rightly understood: our freedoms, yes, but also our unique way of life — our noble past, our habits of volunteerism and generosity, and our commitment to a better future. Rush exemplified this greatness on and off the airwaves and inspired all of us to embrace it. It is fitting that he received America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Trump in 2020. All of us should strive to live with a similar sense of duty and love as he did. 

Judy and I join millions of Americans in mourning the loss of a true American patriot and we pray for peace for his wife Kathryn and the rest of his family.