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Long Live Rush!

THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)

I’ve known Rush Limbaugh since 1988 – more than 33 years!

That’s when I met him in Sacramento, California, his adopted hometown. I convinced him to write a daily column in the Sacramento Union newspaper. Think of it! A daily column. Nobody writes one. And he wrote that for me. (I will not embarrass myself or Rush’s memory by telling you how much I paid him for it.)

It was key to my time at the paper. I looked around the town, and it didn’t take long to figure out who spoke for Sacramento. Rush Limbaugh. He literally owned the town. He loved it. It’s where it all began for Rush.

My plan was to run the column on the front page for maximum exposure. In addition to that, he did a radio ad for me. I scripted it, he recorded it. I ran it as much as I could afford to on KFBK, the flamethrower of the San Joaquin Valley. The result? Our subscription lines rang off the hook – and that was the intention!

We got calls from all over California and all over the nation as people learned of the offer.

During that period, I think I became Rush’s best friend – despite his location in New York and mine in Sacramento. He would often call me as a sounding board and to get a peak into the city that meant so much to him. I’ll never forget that.

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It was about one year later that Rush asked me to help him write his second No.1 bestselling book – “See, I Told You So.” It was the honor of a lifetime. During that period, I had the ability to talk to him at a moment’s notice.

One great privilege for me was writing Chapter 6 of his book “Dead White Guys, Or What Your History Books Never Told You.” It was, for many, the true story of Thanksgiving, which Rush would “ready” every year during the holiday or close to it.

After the book came out, it sold more copies in two months than any other. That record still stands to this day – 2 million sold in two months!

In February 2020, he informed his fans on his blowtorch of a radio show that he was suffering from advanced lung cancer. It was news that likely brought tears to the eyes of millions of listeners who’ve counted on him to put matters into context – something he did better than anyone else on the planet.

All I can say is “Long Live Rush.” I’m still saying it today.

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“I like this program to be about you and the things that matter to all of us,” he said in a touching message on his show. “The one thing that I know that has happened over the 33-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that has developed between all of you and me. Now, this program’s 33 years old, and in that 33 years, there are people – you hear them call all the time – who have been listening the whole time. They’ve been listening 30 years or 25 years.”

Rush reminded us of why he was so good at what he he did. He ENJOYED doing the show.

“I’ve mentioned to you that this program and this job is what has provided me the greatest satisfaction and happiness that I’ve ever experienced, more than I ever thought that I would experience,” he said. “So I have to tell you something today that I wish I didn’t have to tell you.”

Shortness of breath was what he experienced back on his birthday – Jan. 12 – one of the symptoms of the lung cancer he battled for over a year. It made me cry.

“I told the staff today that I have a deeply personal relationship with God that I do not proselytize about,” he said. “But I do, and I have been working that relationship (chuckles) tremendously, which I do regularly anyway, but I’ve been focused on it intensely for the past couple of weeks.”

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The king of radio was only 70. Heck, I’m only 67, but I’ve had at least five strokes. Rush so loved doing his show that he could have done it for 20 more years.

One more personal thing. Over the years, I’ve written several books. He would endorse those books each and every time. What can you say about a guy like that?

Rush’s endorsement is like gold and his friendship a conservative treasure.

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