Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was born January 12th, 1951 to Rush Jr and Millie Limbaugh in Cape Girardeau Missouri. His family is filled with a number of lawyers including his grandfather, father and his brother David Limbaugh. His uncle, Stephen N. Limbaugh, Sr. is a Ronald Reagan appointed federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and his cousin, Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., is Judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri. Rush Limbaugh, Sr., Limbaugh's grandfather, was a Missouri prosecutor, judge, special commissioner and served on Missouri's state House of Representatives from 1930 to 1932.Limbaugh's grandfather was very well respected as one of the "patriarchs" of the Cape Girardeau community. Rush, Sr., passed away at age 104 and was still a practicing attorney at the time of his death.
Limbaugh began his career in radio as a teenager in 1967 in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, using the name Rusty Sharpe. He tried college for a couple of semesters, but didn't find a niche.
Following college, Limbaugh moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania. There he became a Top 40 music radio disc jockey on station WIXZ, a station that covered the Pittsburgh area. In October 1972, he broadcast over Pittsburgh station KQV under the name "Jeff Christie". For the rest of the decade Limbaugh moved around to several radio stations before settling in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1979, after several years in music radio, he took a break from radio and accepted a position as director of promotions with the Kansas City Royals baseball team.
In 1984, Limbaugh returned to radio as a talk show host at KFBK in Sacramento, California, where he replaced Morton Downey, Jr. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine—which had required that stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions that were broadcast—by the FCC in 1987 meant stations could broadcast editorial commentary without having to present opposing views. Daniel Henninger wrote, in a Wall Street Journal editorial, "Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987...and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination."
On August 1, 1988, after achieving success in Sacramento and drawing the attention of a former president of ABC Radio, Edward F. McLaughlin, Limbaugh moved to New York City and began his national radio show. His show debuted just weeks after the Democratic Nominating Convention, and just weeks before the Republican Nominating Convention. Rush Limbaugh's radio home in New York City was the talk-format station WABC-AM, 770 AM, and continues to this day as his flagship station.