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Rush Limbaugh was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. His father is of German descent and his mother is of Scottish descent. His father was a lawyer and a World War II fighter pilot who served in the China-Burma-India theater.
The name "Rush" was chosen for his grandfather to honor the maiden name of family member Edna Rush. His family is filled with a number of lawyers including his grandfather, father and his brother David. 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., died at age 104, and was still a practicing attorney at the time of his death. The Federal Courthouse in Cape Girardeau is named for Limbaugh's grandfather. Limbaugh began his career in radio as a teenager in 1967 in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, using the name Rusty Sharpe.
Rush is considered to have been "national precinct captain" for the Republican Party's Congressional victories in 1994. The National Review magazine, in a 1993 cover story, called him "The Leader of Conservative Principles" during the Clinton administration.