Rush Limbaugh, who professed faith in Jesus Christ prior to his death, held the distinction of hosting the number one program of its kind on the airwaves.
Holding court for three hours, five days per week, “El Rushbo,” “The Doctor of Democracy,” “America’s Anchorman” – pick the nickname – informed, educated, entertained, empathized, commiserated, and encouraged his faithful audience for over three decades.
Now, Rush’s wife, Kathryn Limbaugh, and his brother, David, have released both a tribute and a compendium of essays and transcripts highlighting the late actor’s life and career. It’s called, “Radio’s Greatest of All Time.”
Here are twelve inspiring nuggets from the book, all from the lips of the late broadcast legend:
On his childhood:
“I’d get up in the morning, get ready to go to school, and I would dread it. I hated it. My mother would have the radio on. And the guy on the radio sounded like he was having so much fun. And I knew, when his program was over, he wasn’t going to go to school.”
On the influence of his family:
“My desire to learn actually came from outside the classroom. It came from my father, perhaps the most brilliant man I ever knew intimately, and my grandfather, of course, and many members of my family.”
“I’ve described my dad as passionate, opinionated, and fearless. And in junior high – even high school – there were many Friday nights that my friends said, ‘Let’s go to your place and get your dad riled up.’ And so they’d come over and somebody would come up with some comment about anything in the news, and he was off and running.”
“The old image of families sitting around the dinner table and talking about stuff was true at our house. For me, it was a listening experience and, of course, peppered with questions and so forth.”
“My father always said you can judge a man’s character by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
“I remember growing up, I was not taught hateful things about America. I was not told I needed to feel guilty over being an American.”
“I don’t talk about my nieces and nephews too much on the radio … to protect their privacy. But I love them all very much. I want them to go after their dreams and be whatever they want to be … whatever that is … find their passion. I know they will have challenges along the way, we all do, but most important, I want them to be who they are!”
On following God’s calling on your life:
“If more people had the good fortune of actually discovering their passion, their true passion, and if they can figure out a way to get paid for it, then they would know life and success and all kinds of happiness in ways that eludes them otherwise, and that’s what I wish for people.”
On his love and concern for America:
“We are now fighting to save our own country from itself. We are fighting within our own country to preserve our freedom.”
“I love America. I wish everybody did. I hope everybody will.”
“People all over the world dream about coming here because this is where dreams do come true.”
“People need to seize this great gift of life, realizing it’s the only one you’ll ever have (this side of eternity) and to try to do the most with it for yourself, for your family, however that manifests itself to you each and every day,
In a tribute in the book, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas reveals he was a daily listener – and credits the talk show host with helping him get through some challenging times.
“I would listen regularly to him for the next quarter of a century,” Justice Thomas wrote of Limbaugh. “He became a very, very, important part of my life. It’s probably hard to think of those years now or remember them. But those were very difficult years for my wife and me. I often think of those years as a dark night of my soul, but Rush was that beacon of hope, that beacon of light that brought joy.”
Rush’s final words on his last program were, “We’ll be back soon” – a broadcast bromide we’ve heard countless times and one that an ailing Rush seemingly didn’t live up to, dying 15 days later.
Yet, maybe Rush wasn’t referring to returning soon to his perch behind the “Golden EIB” microphone. Instead, maybe he was alluding to his Christian belief that life is a vapor that vanishes quickly and that we’ll all be back together again on the other side, and maybe even sooner than we think.