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One year after conservative radio titan Rush Limbaugh died following a battle with lung cancer, Fox News‘ Ainsley Earhardt sat down with the wife of “America’s Anchorman” at the couple’s Palm Beach, Fla., home.
Earhardt met Kathryn Limbaugh in Rush’s library, where he spent much of his time outside the studio. She remarked how the library and the home itself is filled with many “wonderful symbols of America.”
“To me, it really represents Rush in so many ways, not because of the grandness of it. That’s not really him. It represents success; American freedom,” Kathryn said.
The “Fox & Friends” interview, broadcast Thursday morning and available in full on Fox Nation, was the first time cameras were inside the home.
Rush famously used to remark he had “talent on loan from God”, which Kathryn said was first bestowed upon him when he was hired at WABC in New York City to host “The Rush Limbaugh Show” after a stint in Sacramento radio.
“He would like to say [it was] when he was eight and he was broadcasting from his bedroom down to his mother and brother. But the big break probably was New York.”
When asked about Rush’s hobbies and interests off-air, Kathryn Limbaugh recalled one of Rush’s axioms: “Life is show prep.”
“He was always mentally engaged, whether it was watching a television program or reading his iPad,” she said.
Earhardt also discussed Rush’s faith, noting he said that “every day I wake up and the first thing I do it thank God that I did.”
“He knew there was a much higher plan and much higher purpose. He believes strongly in his relationship with God,” Kathryn said.
“Rush always said that this audience meant everything to him, and we want that to carry on and make sure that we continue our American values, that we continue to have pride for our symbols,” she later added.
Kathryn surmised that Rush would be “rather furious” with the state of the country in the one year since his passing.
“He would be upset with the United States not being as strong as it has been and should be. I know he would say it’s not time to panic,” she said, recalling another notable line from her late husband:
“It’s never time to panic. Folks it’s never, ever going to be time to give up on our country. It’ll never be time to give up on the United States. It’ll never be time to give up on yourself,” Rush said on air.
The late keeper of the Golden EIB mic is buried in St. Louis – not far from his Cape Girardeau hometown.
Kathryn noted that at his grave, there are two benches, because visitors may want to speak to him as they often did.
“I happened to be sitting there when out of nowhere, a man gave me his rosary that he had brought there to give to Rush. In that time, I felt he’s still with us.”
“He’s living on through these people.”
Rush’s legacy continues to live on through the many guest hosts and colleagues he invited on the air. Hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton continue that tradition from 12 PM to 3 PM ET on many of the stations where Rush was heard.
The show still begins with the same familiar bass line from “My City Was Gone”. The song, performed by “The Pretenders” and frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, embodies another Rush ideal – unity.
Hynde and Limbaugh shared polar opposite politics, but upon the occasion of President Trump bestowing the Medal of Freedom on Rush, Hynde tweeted that her late father, Marine veteran Melville Hynde, loved Rush and would want the song to remain despite critics.
“My father and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye. We argued a lot, but isn’t that the American way? The right to disagree without having your head chopped off?” Hynde said of the situation.
Limbaugh’s first program aired August 1, 1988. Limbaugh quickly garnered an audience and grew his listenership to hundreds of stations nationwide in the years following.
Rush’s longtime producer and friend James Golden – better known as “Bo Snerdley” – hosts a program on 77-WABC from 4 PM to 5 PM ET, and is the author of “Rush on the Radio“, which recounts the legacy of the late broadcaster and American icon.
During an interview with Fox News last year, Golden commented on that legacy, which had appeared in one form as a memorial outside the Limbaughs’ Palm Beach home within days of his passing.
“I’m of course gratified by anyone who chooses to remember Rush for the incredible human being that he was,” Golden said. “He was a man like no other that I have met.”
Ainsley Earhardt’s full interview with Kathryn Limbaugh is available now on Fox Nation.