Plaudits poured in for Rush Limbaugh from fellow broadcasters as word spread of the conservative radio talk show icon's death from lung cancer Wednesday, with many acknowledging him as the reason for their success and hailing him as a "hero," "the greatest," and "indispensable."
Limbaugh died at the age of 70, a little more than a year after announcing he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, 33 years after launching what would become the most listened to show in radio history.
"Limbaugh's radio talent and dedication to the medium are unparalleled in the modern talk industry," publisher Michael Harrison of TALKERS magazine said on the website of talk show broadcasting. "At a time when the very future of radio and its talent pool could very much be on the wane in terms of cultural relevance and prestige, he raised it to a level of importance on a par with the most influential media platforms and players of our time."
Several noted how the medium of AM radio was dying in the late 1980s, due to the ascendancy of television and the superior sound quality and growing popularity of FM.
Fellow popular conservative broadcaster and The Blaze CEO Glenn Beck wrote on Twitter:
"No words . . . I just got news that Rush Limbaugh has passed away, thanks Rush for all you taught, gave, and were. A hero to many. An icon. A patriot. A revolutionary that saved radio. Heavens gain, our loss."
One of Limbaugh's "guest hosts," who filled in occasionally in the year following the announcement of his diagnosis, Buck Sexton, directly attributed his success to "America's anchorman" and "doctor of democracy."
The former CIA analyst wrote on Twitter:
"Rush Limbaugh was a hero for this country. He changed so many millions of lives for the better, mine included. The greatest radio host that has ever lived. A patriot, and an icon. God bless him and his family."
Nationally syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch noted how Limbaugh inspired millions of conservatives without social media or even the Internet.
"There isn't a broadcaster today who cannot give credit to Limbaugh," Loesch said. "He created the industry and 'infotainment.' The modern conservative movement wouldn't be what it is without his contribution before social media, before the Internet."
Ben Shapiro, host of an eponymous conservative podcast, called Limbaugh the creator of the talk radio format, tweeting:
"RIP Rush Limbaugh, the creator of talk radio and by extension the alternative media, an indispensable and iconic conservative voice."
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also noted Limbaugh's impact on the broadcast industry, referring to him as a "legend," tweeting:
"RIP to a legend and a patriot, Rush Limbaugh. Not many people can say they revolutionized and stayed at the top of an industry the way he did. My condolences to his family."
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