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Talking About Rush Limbaugh’s Personal Life With Zev Chafets

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Posted on June 29 2010 11:00 pm
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Zev Chafets is the author of Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One. Chafets wrote the book with Limbaugh’s cooperation and it gave him a fascinating window into Limbaugh’s world. So, as someone who has been a Rush fan since college, I was really looking forward to talking to Chafets.

What follows is a slightly edited version of our conversation:

A lot of people tend to assume that successful people like Rush have had everything handed to them on a silver platter. One of the reasons I’ve always found Rush to be inspirational is because he had a long hard road to success. Could you give people a brief rundown of Rush’s career before he really took off and became a big star?

Sure. Rush comes from Cape Girardeau, Missouri which is a small town in Southeastern Missouri. He comes from a very good family. His grandfather was a famous lawyer in that part of the country.

He has an uncle and a cousin who were federal judges and his dad was a prominent lawyer. And of course his brother David is also a lawyer. And everybody expected that Rush would you know go into the family business or at the very least be a professional man.

And from a young age, from the age of 16 or so all he wanted to do was be a broadcaster. He was a DJ in the local radio station. He went to college for a year under duress.

Much to his father’s dismay he took off and went to Pittsburgh and became a top 40 DJ with a professional name, which was Jeff Christie. He was an iterant DJ for many years. He was in Kansas. He was in Pittsburgh twice.

He was in Kansas City for a while. He also took a break and was in the marketing department of the Kansas City Royals baseball team. But basically he floundered and it wasn’t until he got to Sacramento in the mid 80’s and started doing Rush Limbaugh as we know him today, with political satire and commentary, that he actually started to become successful.

So he was pretty close to 40 before he found himself and started succeeding. You know one of the big psychodramas in his life is his father’s disapproval. It took his father a long, long time to grasp the fact that Rush could become successful on his own terms not on his father’s terms. I think that was pretty gratifying to Rush in his father’s final days.

Continue reading the interview at Right Wing News.

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