Rush Limbaugh, the longtime king of conservative radio, told listeners on Monday’s show that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He said he would be taking some days off for tests and planning treatment. Watch video of his announcement above.
Limbaugh, 69, said he’s been experiencing shortness of breath, which turned out to be a pulmonary malignant tumor.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Limbaugh told listeners Monday as he fidgeted with a pen. “This day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory for me because I’ve known this moment was coming in the program today.”
A little later, he said: “I have been diagnosed advanced lung cancer. Diagnosis confirmed by two institutions back on January 20. First realized something was wrong on my birthday weekend, January 12th. And I wish I didn’t have to tell you this — and I thought about not telling anybody. I thought about trying to do this without anybody knowing because I don’t like making things about me.
“But there are going to be days that I’m not going to be able to be here,” he added in closing his broadcast today. He said he “hopes” to be back on the air Thursday. “If not, it’ll be as soon as I can,” Limbaugh added . “Every day I’m not here, I’ll be thinking of you and missing you.”
Limbaugh said he told his staff about the diagnosis before the show began. He added: “I hope I will be talking about this as little as necessary in the coming days, but we’ve got a great bunch of doctors, a great team assembled, we’re at full speed ahead on this. It’s just now a matter of implementing what we are going to be told later this week.”
Limbaugh also said today: “The worst thing that can happen is when there is something going on and you try to hide it and cover it up. It’s eventually going to leak and then people are gonna be like ‘Why didn’t you just say it? Why did you try to fool everybody? It’s not that I want to fool anybody it’s just that I don’t want to burden anybody with it, and I haven’t wanted to. But it is what it is. And you know me I am the Mayor of Realville. So this has happened, and my intention is to come here every day I can and to do this program as normally and as competently and as expertly as I do each and every day, because that is the source of my greatest satisfaction professionally, personally.”
The Rush Limbaugh Show launched in radio syndication in August 1988 on 56 stations. Limbaugh eventually became one of the most influential conservative voices in the media landscape, and his show, long the top-rated in the nation, now airs on more than 600 stations on syndicator Premiere Networks and reaches 27 million people weekly.