Mark Levin pays tribute to Rush Limbaugh: 'He made it cool to be a patriot'

Conservative radio icon died Wednesday at age 70 from lung cancer

Fox News host and longtime conservative radio personality Mark Levin eulogized Rush Limbaugh Wednesday as someone who made it "cool to be a patriot" and spoke for tens of millions of Americans from behind his famed golden microphone.

"We lost a tremendous patriot," Levin told Fox News host Harris Faulkner. "I've known Rush for 25 years. I want your audience to know how much he profoundly loved them ... An incredibly wise man, a very, very smart man. A dear person. If you thought somebody needed help, he would help them. Nothing like what the liberal media has tried to do to him."

Limbaugh died Wednesday after a year-long battle with lung cancer. The conservative icon and author revolutionized the radio industry with the nationally syndicatead "The Rush Limbaugh Show" beginning in 1988, and he is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in broadcast and political history.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO PIONEER, DEAD AT 70

Limbaugh was close with former President Donald Trump and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from him last year, and he made plenty of enemies on the left with his acerbic brand of commentary.

Levin, who hosts "Life, Liberty, and Levin" in addition to his syndicated radio show, hailed Limbaugh as a mentor who paved the way for him and other conservatives on talk radio and was generous with his time.

"I just want him to be remembered the way he should be remembered," Levin said. "A tremendous patriot of this country who refused to accept the attacks that came against this country from within. He refused to accept the ideological changes in this country. He defended the traditions of this country, and he spoke for tens of millions of us and, you know, I've met a lot of smart people in my life, dealt with a lot of smart people, never smarter than Rush, never wiser, and never kinder."

Levin called it a "tremendously sad day" for people who "salute the flag" and "embrace the military."

Limbaugh annnounced his diagnosis last January and continued to do broadcasts, taking time off occasionally for treatments and updating his audience on his health.

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"We've lost a voice like no other and like there will never be again and particularly at a time when we need a voice like his," Levin said, later adding, "He made it cool to be a patriot. He showed people how to stand up against the tide, the endless tide of tyranny."