JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh is now a member of the Hall of Famous Missourians.
He was inducted Monday during a secretive ceremony in the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. Police stood guard to keep out any uninvited political opponents of the sometimes controversial radio show host.
Limbaugh, a native of Cape Girardeau, addressed more than 100 Republicans during a closed-door event in the Missouri House chamber. Speaking from the chamber's dais, he thanked his family for their support throughout his career and denounced liberals and Democrats as "deranged." He then helped lift a black curtain off a bronze bust of himself, which he hugged -- head to head -- for photographs.
The timing of the ceremony was kept secret until shortly before it occurred, and then only Republican lawmakers, other invited guests and the media were allowed into the chamber to watch.
The 61-year-old Limbaugh arranged for a guest host to handle his radio show Monday so he could be at the Missouri Capitol. He repeatedly declared how humbled he was by the honor.
The talk show host was selected for the Hall of Famous Missourians by term-limited House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican who, like Limbaugh, is from southeast Missouri.