With the passing of radio broadcasting legend Rush Limbaugh, both mainstream and social media were filled with tributes and insults of the man who unquestionably transformed the medium of radio during his 33 years on the air.
But while most coverage of Limbaugh's passing focused on his on-air opinion making, country music star John Rich made public a different side to Limbaugh that was often overlooked by his critics: his philanthropy.
Rich's anecdote scratched the surface of a lifetime of charitable giving, both public and private, that Limbaugh engaged in.
- Through his annual radio Leukemia & Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon, Limbaugh raised and donated more than $50 million for research to help those affected by blood cancer diseases.
- In 2008, Limbaugh was ranked by Forbes as 4th of its Most Generous Celebrities List after having donated $4.2 million to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. The MCLEF is an organization that supports the children of law enforcement officers or Marines killed in the line of duty.
- In 2019, Limbaugh had donated $5 million in proceeds to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that paid off the mortgages of six widows of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
- In 2018, Limbaugh gave half a million dollars to the Dana Farber Cancer Clinic.
- In 2007, Limbaugh matched an online donation for a letter he auctioned off, donating $8.4 million to the MCLEF.
- Between 2005 and 2020, Limbaugh made undisclosed but significant contributions to Move America Forward (care packages for military servicemen and women), Michael Milken and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Els for Autism, Fisher Houses, Navy SEALs Museum, Toys for Tots, American Heritage Girls, and Adopt-a-Soldier programs.
Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, remarking on the occasion of Limbaugh's passing, summed it up succinctly: "Rush was a generous man."