When you have a net worth that is estimated to be in hundreds of millions of dollars and a talk show that has the most listeners in the country, then you officially become a person worth talking about. Rush Limbaugh is one such person! This media personality does not just have one of the most interesting talk-shows around, he has managed to build the kind of popularity that is likened to a cult following.
Apart from being a very popular radio talk show host and conservative commentator, it appears Rush has had quite an intriguing love life. Does having a successful career automatically translate to having a successful marriage? The answer to the aforementioned question is obviously in the negative which is the case with Limbaugh. However, there’s so much more to know about the radio personality’s love life and we’re spilling all the tea!
Rush Limbaugh’s Early Career In Radio
Rush Limbaugh just clocked 16 when he landed his first job at a Cape Girardeau local radio station called KGMO-AM where he worked under the alias Rusty Sharpe. After he dropped out of college at 21, Rush worked at a McKeesport, Pennsylvania Top 40 station WIXZ-AM. The media outfit hired him in his capacity as a DJ; there, Rush went under the moniker “Bachelor Jeff” Christie as his airname and started with afternoon shift before moving to morning drive. After recording 18 months of hard work, the disc jokey encountered some “personality conflict” with the program director which eventually led to his sack 1973.
His next place of employment was KQV-AM in Pittsburgh where he started a nighttime position succeeding Jim Quinn, but from what is obvious; he didn’t last long in the post. New management that came in late 1974 put pressure on the program director to sack him which eventually came to pass. According to Limbaugh, he was actually written off by the general manager who dismissed him as someone who would never land success as an on-air-personality; the manager suggested that he tried his hands in another career path in radio sales.
Subsequently, Rush went back home to live with his parents after rejecting the only offer available to him in Neenah. During this period, the media personality became a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He Was Opportune To Develop His Own Style After Working At KUDL
He next worked at the Top 40 station KUDL located in Kansas City, Missouri where he became an afternoon show in 1975. Soon, he began to host a public affairs talk program that aired only on weekend mornings which gave him the room to present more controversial ideas, thereby developing his own style.
After he lost the Job, Rush Limbaugh stayed back in Kansas City and started an evening show at KFIX. However, this particular stint was also brief as he was sacked weeks later, after having some disagreements with the manager. These strings of sacks within a short period of time led the young talent to become disillusioned with the radio. In addition, there was pressure to pursue a different career path, and Rush already viewed himself as “a moderate failure as a deejay”
He Briefly Explored A Different Career Path, Returning To Radio Within A Short While
His disillusionment with radio landed the disc jockey in a part-time job in group sales for the Royals baseball team in Kansas City. This later developed into a full-time position with Rush appointed the director of group sales and special events. His office was stationed at the Royals Stadium where he forged a friendship with George Brett – then-Royals star third baseman and future Hall of Famer; the duo have remained close friends. The radio personality claims to have developed his conservative views through business trips to Asia and Europe during this time as he considered these countries to have lower standards of living compared to the United States.
November 1983 saw Rush Limbaugh’s return to radio with a year’s stint at Kansas City’s KMBZ-AM. During this time, Rush took the decision to do away with his on-air moniker and broadcast under his real name. Though he got the sack, as usual, the Missouri native soon earned a spot on KFBK-AM in Sacramento, California, where he replaced Morton Downey Jr; his new show launched on October 14, 1984.
The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine—had required that media outfits offer free air time for responses to controversial and contentious opinions that were broadcast—by the FCC on the 5th of August 1987. This meant that stations were free to air editorial commentary without the need to present opposing views. According to Daniel Henninger’s piece in a Wall Street Journal editorial, “Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987 … and Rush Limbaugh became the first to declare himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination.
Rush Limbaugh’s Success in Sacramento Opened an In-road Into Other Positions
Rush was still making waves in Sacramento in July 1988 when he caught the attention of Edward McLaughlin (former ABC Radio President). He eventually started a new show at WABC-AM in New York City, debuting weeks following the Democratic National Convention, and a few weeks prior to the Republican National Convention. Rush Limbaugh’s radio home in New York City was the talk-formatted WABC (AM) which remained his flagship station for a very long time. Even after the radio host relocated to West Palm Beach, Fla., he continues to broadcast his show from there. The show later moved to WABC’s cross-town rival WOR (AM) on the 1st of January 2014 to its current New York outlet.
1990 marked the on-air personality’s second year on his Rush to Excellence Tour (this is a chain of personal appearances in cities in the US). He earned around $360,000 for the 45 shows he completed that year alone. The show host’s rising profile happened together with the Gulf War, and he lent his support for the war effort and his unrelenting ridicule of peace activists. The program was eventually moved to other stations with larger audiences and was later being broadcast on more than 650 radio stations in the United States.
When Democrat Bill Clinton came to power in 1992, Rush was on hand to satirized the policies of Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton, and also those of the Democratic Party. The Republicans had a Revolution in the 1994 midterm elections when the party eventually regained control of Congress after they had been out for several decades. Consequently, Rush Limbaugh was awarded an honorary membership by the freshman Republican class in their caucus believing he had a role in their success.
He Had A Brief Stint In Sports Commentary In The 2000s
In 2003, the on-air radio host went to work with ESPN as a professional football commentator – a position which only lasted for a short period of time. He resigned a few weeks into the 2003 National Football League season after attracting controversy and accusations of racism. This was caused by his comments about the press coverage for quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Rush Limbaugh said the NFL was interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well and that Donovan McNabb hasn’t been that good from the get-go and didn’t deserve the credit for his team’s performance. All these didn’t go down well with the league. The statement was construed as “boneheaded” by the sportswriter Peter King other sports analysts like Allen Barra also had their say.
His Controversial Comments Nearly Led To A Great Loss In 2013
In 2013, news reports surfaced indicating that Cumulus Media, some of whose stations aired Rush’s program in New York and other locations, was seriously considering scrapping his show when its contract with him expired at year-end. This was supposedly because the company believed that its advert revenues had been hurt by listener reaction to the radio host’s controversial comments. According to Limbaugh, the reports were obviously overblown and that it was a question of routine dollars-and-cents negotiations between Cumulus and his network syndication partner, Premiere Networks (a unit of Clear Channel Communications).
Eventually, the parties reached an agreement on a new contract, with Rush Limbaugh’s show moving from its long-term flagship outlet in New York (the Cumulus-owned WABC) to the later’s cross-town rival, the Clear Channel-owned WOR, starting from the 1st of January 2014. However, it had to remain on the Cumulus-owned stations.
His Unprecedented Sucess With His Self Titled Show The Rush Limbaugh Show
The Rush Limbaugh Show airs each weekday for three hours starting at noon Eastern Time on both AM and FM radio. It is also broadcast on Armed Forces Radio Network worldwide. Because of the need to broadcast music in stereo with better fidelity, radio broadcasting shifted from AM to FM during the 1970s. Rush’s show was originally nationally syndicated in August 1988, on the AM radio band.
His popularity paved way for several other conservative talk radio programming to emerge and become common on AM radio. His show boosted its audience in the 1990s so much that even some FM stations had to pick it up. AM had a poor sound quality and lack of stereo that makes a talk show format like Limbaugh’s to be preferable for AM radio. As of January 2019, almost half of the radio personality’s affiliate stations are on the FM dial. Rush has had President Donald Trump called in on his show.
At the onset, his show was co-owned and first syndicated by the former president of ABC Edward F. McLaughlin, who founded EFM Media in 1988, with Rush’s show as his first product. In 1997, Edward sold off EFM to Jacor Communications, which Clear Channel Communications later bought. Presently, Limbaugh is the proud owner of a majority of the show, which is syndicated by the Premiere Radio Networks.
This made him the world’s second (behind Howard Stern) highest-paid radio host, reportedly earning $84.5 million annually. This happened after he penned a $400 million, eight-year contract in 2008 with then Clear Channel Communications. Rush has been renewing the contract ever since. He was on TV from 1992 through 1996 on a syndicated half-hour television show that discussed many of the topics aired on his radio show.
Rush Limbaugh Has Had A Lot Of Health Issues
The radio show host announced that he was experiencing personal difficulties in 2000 when he acknowledged that he had gone totally deaf, though he still continued airing his show. Rush got a cochlear implant in 2001 which helped him regain much of his hearing. He received a Clarion CII Bionic Ear.
In 2005, Rush Limbaugh had to undergo “tuning” as a result of an “eye twitch”, an obvious side-effect of cochlear implants. On the 30th of December 2009, while on a vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii, the on-air host was admitted to Queen’s Medical Center with severe chest pains. His physicians attributed the pain to angina pectoris.
On the 8th of April 2014, on his radio program, Rush announced his intension to ‘go bilateral, meaning that he was going to get another implant on the right side. Following his bilateral tuning, he recorded 100 percent improvement, and coming from total deafness, it is miraculous! “How can you not believe in God?” Limbaugh stated in his national daily broadcast.
His Latest Health Challenge Is Lung Cancer
On the 20th of January, 2020, the popular radio host was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer after first experiencing shortness of breath on the 12th of January. We got to hear about the diagnosis during his radio show on the 3rd of February when he conceded that he would have to miss airtime in order to undergo treatment. The announcement triggered a series of nasty tweets from people who said they didn’t care if he dies from the disease.
According to the media personality, he planned to continue the program “as normally and competently” as he could while undergoing treatment. He was a guest of President Donald Trump at the 2020 State of the Union Address, where he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This happened a day after he announced his diagnosis. He later gave an update on his treatment, saying that he felt so useless and worthless after a few days of treatment, but he considers himself to be doing great.
Take A Look At His Marital Life
Yes, Rush Limbaugh is married. In fact, it seems he is quite the lover boy as he has dared the turbulent waters of matrimony for four good times and divorced three times.
Roxy Maxine McNeely
His first marriage happened when he was only 26 years old and fell hopelessly in love with a sales secretary Roxy Maxine McNeely at a radio station in Missouri. The two love birds got married in Rush’s hometown, Cape Girardeau in 1977. Three years later, however, Roxy filed for divorce from Rush and cited “incompatibility” as the reason for their separation.
Three years later in 1983, Rush Limbaugh married a college student who was also an usherette at the Kansas City Royals stadium club. This woman’s name is Michelle Sixta and the couple got divorced seven years later in 1990. Though the reason for the divorce wasn’t publicized, Michelle got married to another man one year after her divorce from Rush.
Rush Limbaugh got married to his third wife, Marta Fitzgerald on the 27th of May, 1994. When they got married, Marta was 35 years old and worked as an aerobics instructor. The couple had met each other on an online service in 1990 and tied the knot at the house of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Later, Rush Limbaugh announced to his listeners that he and Marta were getting a divorce.
After the divorce, in 2004, Rush entered into a romantic relationship with Daryn Kagan who was a CNN news anchor. The duo was an item for a couple of years but unfortunately, their relationship ended in 2006.
Now, Rush Limbaugh is married to Kathryn Rogers who works as a party planner. The two reportedly dated for three years before tying the knot in an elaborate ceremony. By elaborate, we mean Elton John performed at their wedding reception! The couple lives in Palm Beach and is yet to have any children.