No one knew that Feb. 2 would be the last time Rush Limbaugh would address viewers on his radio show, but he couldn’t have planned it any better if he had tried.
According to Fox News, Limbaugh’s final broadcast included a heartfelt talk with a caller who led him to look back on his own iconic radio career, while providing some encouragement to an up-and-coming conservative trying to find their voice.
In the later part of the three-hour broadcast, Limbaugh took a call from Sara Racey-Tabrizi, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant who said she had recently moved from New York City to Arizona because conservatives were “treated like lepers” in New York, Fox reported. She told Limbaugh that she was having trouble getting involved in politics even in her new, more conservative state, and asked for his advice.
“Carry on my legacy”
Racey-Tabrizi’s question led Limbaugh to give an impromptu retrospective on his radio career, telling the caller that everyone has to start from the bottom like he did. “You started small and you had to prove yourself at every step along the way,” he said, according to Fox.
“You just climbed the ladder, hoping somewhere along the way you get a break, and I didn’t get mine for 20 years [until] Sacramento, 1984 — and that’s just how you did it,” Limbaugh added.
Racey-Tabrizi told Fox that she had called in more than 30 times before getting to speak to Limbaugh, who had around 21 million daily listeners.
“Rush said, carry on my legacy, go out there and speak, stand up, speak the truth, and don’t be afraid,” she recalled Wednesday. “It affected me profoundly.”
“We’ll be back soon”
At the end of the Feb. 2 broadcast, Limbaugh revealed that he had guest host Mark Steyn on stand-by in case he couldn’t make it through the show.
“Thanks for standing by today, Mr. Steyn,” Limbaugh said, as Fox reported. “We’ll be back soon.”
But he never did make it back on the air. The 70-year-old succumbed to complications from lung cancer on Wednesday morning, his wife Kathryn said at the beginning of Wednesday’s broadcast, according to CBS News.
The gaping hole Limbaugh left will be hard to fill, because even as he paved the way for dozens or hundreds of conservatives to expound their views on radio shows and podcasts, there was never anyone quite like Rush in the more than three decades he was on the air.
His legacy is profound and deep, and he will not be forgotten no matter what comes after he is gone.