Rush Limbaugh: US conservative talk show host dies aged 70

Rush Limbaugh Credit: AP

American conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has died aged 70.

Limbaugh's wife, Kathryn, announced the death on her late husband's show. The provocative media personality revealed he had lung cancer a year ago.

Unflinchingly conservative and wildly partisan, Limbaugh galvanised listeners for more than 30 years.

Limbaugh's rants during his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 US stations played a part in shaping conservative conversation across the US.

“In my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement,” Limbaugh told author Zev Chafets in the 2010 book “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.”

Rush Limbaugh with his wife Kathryn (left) and Melania Trump (right). Credit: AP

Forbes magazine estimated his 2018 income at £60 million ($84 million), ranking him behind only Howard Stern among radio personalities.

Limbaugh was also often accused of bigotry and prejudice - when actor Michael J Fox, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign commercial, Limbaugh mocked his tremors.

As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, he made the dying a punchline and he also called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog.

He was also well-known for ripping into liberals, calling Democrats and others on the left communists, wackos, feminazis, liberal extremists, homosexual slurs and radicals.

Limbaugh called himself the “truth detector,” the “doctor of democracy,” a “lover of mankind,” a “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball” and an “all-around good guy.”

He claimed he had “talent on loan from God".