Instant Guide

Rush Limbaugh's estate: An insider's guide

Zev Chafets, author of a new book on "El Rushbo," was the first journalist invited inside Limbaugh's shamelessly grand "inner sanctum." Here's what he found

Most of the anecdotes strung together in Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One are familiar — the subject is hardly shy and retiring — but biographer Zev Chafets, a New York Times Magazine contributor, did achieve one genuine scoop: A first-hand tour of Limbaugh's north Palm Beach estate, described by its owner as "actually quite modest by Palm Beach standards." As David Frum observes in a Washington Post review, "Chafets exposes some disconnects between Limbaugh's private life and public presence...some distinctly grandiose tastes in this self-imagined tribune of Middle America." Here's what he saw:

A five-house compoundLimbaugh's ocean-front estate is made up of five separate houses behind gates that offer no "visible security." The radio host himself lives, with a cat, in the largest, a 24,000 sq. ft. "mansion" that he renovated and decorated himself. The other four buildings are for guests. The estate, for which Limbaugh was recently offered $65 million, includes a putting green and a private beach.

Palatial, openly derivative decorLimbaugh, a fan of conspicuous consumption, is "no Veblenite," writes Chafets. The "vast salon" is an homage to Versailles. The main guest suite is "an exact replica of the Presidential Suite of the Hotel George V in Paris." A "massive chandelier" in his dining room mimics one that hung in New York's Plaza Hotel. Knick-knacks include a full suit of armor and a "life-size oil portrait" of Limbaugh himself.

An "inner sanctum"When at home, Limbaugh spends most of his time in his "inner sanctum" — a two-story library which is a "scaled-down version" of the library at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. "Cherubs dance on the ceiling, leatherbound collections line the bookshelves, and the wood-paneled walls were once, he told me happily, 'an acre of mahogany,'" writes Chafets.

A garage full of black, $450,000 carsLimbaugh drives himself around in a black Maybach 57 S (cost: $450,000), and keeps a "garage full of them" for his guests. "Dignified black automobiles" are very much Limbaugh's style, writes Chafets. "[He] is old-fashioned, even elegant in his personal furnishing."

A $56 million airplaneChafets spots a brochure on Limbaugh's "onyx and marble" table for a Gulfstream G550, a $56 million private jet that the talk show host had recently bought. The biographer notes the "tastefully luxe" interiors and specs which include "armaments: CLASSIFIED." 

All excerpts from Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, by Zev Chafets (Sentinel, $25.95)

Recommended

The ransomware epidemic
Gas tanks.
Feature

The ransomware epidemic

Used cars and trucks drove much of May's steep inflation
Use cars
Invisible hands

Used cars and trucks drove much of May's steep inflation

The daily business briefing: June 11, 2021
A shopper
Business briefing

The daily business briefing: June 11, 2021

Consumer prices in May see 'largest annual gain since August 2008'
Travelers at airport.
Money, money, money

Consumer prices in May see 'largest annual gain since August 2008'

Most Popular

Harry and Meghan insist they asked queen about daughter's name
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
royal drama

Harry and Meghan insist they asked queen about daughter's name

IG: Police didn't clear Lafayette Park for Trump photo op
Donald Trump
the report

IG: Police didn't clear Lafayette Park for Trump photo op

Democrats' unemployment mistake
President Biden.
Picture of Ryan CooperRyan Cooper

Democrats' unemployment mistake