At a Glance
- Career History: KBFK, Sacramento (1984 to 1988); KMBZ, Kansas City (1983 to 1984); Kansas City Royals, Director of group sales (1979 to 1983); KUDL, Kansas City, (1975 to 1978); KQV, Pittsburgh (1973 to 1975); WIXZ, McKeesport, Penn. (1971 to 1972). KGMO; Cape Girardeau, Mo. (1967 to 1969)
- Birthday: January 12, 1951
- Hometown: Cape Girardeau, Mo.
- Alma Mater: Cape Central High School, 1969; Attended Southeast Missouri State University, 1969 to 1970
- Spouse: Roxy Maxine McNeely (1977 to 1980, divorced); Michelle Sixta (1983 to 1990, divorced);Marta Fitzgerald (1994 to 2004, divorced)
- Religion: Methodist
- Office: The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1270 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10020
- Web site
Path to Power
Rusty Gets His Start
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (known by the nickname "Rusty" as a child) was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo., in 1951. His actual first name, "Rush," came from his ancestor Edna Rush, whose maiden name was handed down to Limbaugh's grandfather, Rush Sr.The eldest Rush was a prominent local lawyer who practiced past 100 years-old.
As a kid, Rusty was ensconced in conservative politics and developed an obsession for the radio. His father was a fighter pilot during World War II who became a lawyer and head of the county Republican Party. He led then vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon around town during a 1952 campaign stop. When Rusty was growing up, his father would air his conservative views at the family dinner table, and provided a running political commentary during the evening news broadcasts.
It was at KMBZ that Limbaugh started airing his conservative opinions on the radio. At the beginning, he would inject his views into the regular newscasts. To avoid being fired, he made an agreement with the station that gave him a separate forum to do commentary as long as he didn't offer his opinions when he was supposed to be reading straight news.
Limbaugh generated controversy by mocking the likes of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson and Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.). The attention was more than the station, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was willing to tolerate. He was ousted after ten months on the job. However, in 1984, Limbaugh grabbed the attention of KFBK, a news/talk station in Sacramento, Calif., which was looking for a replacement for Morton Downey Jr., who had been suspended after making a controversial joke.
Limbaugh's enduring influence has enabled him to forge ties with the nation's most prominent conservatives, and each year he invites his closest friends to spend a weekend at his estate.
Among his friends are Fox News President Roger Ailes, Republican consultant Mary Matalin, Karl Rove and Matt Drudge. He has also maintained relationships with Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas (who conducted his third wedding).