SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV/AP) – Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who became the voice of American conservatism, has died.

His death on Wednesday at the age of 70 came a year after announcing he had Stage Four lung cancer.

With his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 stations across the U.S., and a massive audience of millions hanging on his every word, Limbaugh’s rants shaped the national political conversation, swaying the opinions of average Republicans and the direction of the party.

“Rush Limbaugh understood what he was talking about deeply, and he could explain in a way that crystalized others’ thoughts,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told reporters Wednesday. “He’s one of the major leaders in the conservative movement in our country and we’re going to miss him.”

Other local GOP leaders shared their condolences online:

Rush Limbaugh was a pioneer for talk radio and a giant of the conservative movement. He gave a voice to millions of Americans, and his impact cannot be overstated. My family is praying for his loved ones and listeners in light of this heartbreaking news.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Conservatism has lost one of her giants and strongest advocates. I first met [Rush Limbaugh] in 1995 when he helped my freshman class in the House put the GOP back in the majority for the first time in forty years.

Rush was a thought leader and passionate advocate who could throw a punch and take one too. I had the pleasure of getting to know him personally on the golf course and cherish my time with him.

My prayers are with his family and his many fans and friends throughout the country. He fought the good fight.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham

Today we mourn the passing of a true conservative icon. Rush Limbaugh revolutionized talk radio, inspiring millions of American patriots. I hope you will join me in praying for his family. Rest In Peace, Rush.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott

Rush Limbaugh was a giant voice for conservative values. He was a legend and he will be missed. We are praying for his family and friends.

Georgia District 1 Rep. Buddy Carter

Rush Limbaugh paved the way for countless conservative voices who otherwise may never have been heard, while working tirelessly to help others in their fight against cancer. We lost an absolute titan today. My heart is with Rush’s family during this time.

South Carolina District 1 Rep. Nancy Mace