Dick Farrel, a former right-wing radio host in Florida and anchor on Newsmax TV, died on Wednesday of complications from Covid-19, according to NBC News affiliate WPTV.
“He was known as the other Rush Limbaugh. With a heavy heart, I can only say this was so unexpected. He will be missed,” Farrel’s partner, Kit Farley, wrote on Facebook, according to WPTV.
“He fought like a tiger. Please don’t put off getting attention for this illness,” Farley wrote on Facebook. “Yes, for some it has minimal effects, but others it is deadly. We will always love Dick Farrel, always appreciate his spirit, and miss him greatly.”
Farrel was a vocal and staunch advocate against the coronavirus vaccine, which he posted about on social media and once called “bogus.” He also railed against figures like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who he called a “lying freak.”
However, after contracting Covid, friends said Farrel’s attitude about the vaccine and the virus changed, according to WPTV.
“COVID took one of my best friends! RIP Dick Farrel. He is the reason I took the shot. He texted me and told me to ‘Get it!’ He told me this virus is no joke and he said, ‘I wish I had gotten it!'” wrote Amy Leigh Hair, a friend of Farrel’s, on Facebook.
Farrel, born Farrel Austin Levitt, was born on Aug. 1, 1956, in New York City. Farrel graduated from Queens College before going on to pursue a radio career, according to his obituary.
He first began working in Long Island before taking a job on the morning show on WVIP FM in Westchester, New York. He later moved to West Palm Beach where he worked for a number of South Florida radio stations, including WIOD in Miami, WPBR in Palm Beach, WJUP FM in Jupiter, WFLN in Arcadia, according to his obituary.
He also served as an anchor for Newsmax TV, the obituary stated.
“Farrel will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him,” the obituary reads.