Conservative talk radio host Phil Valentine has died at the age of 61 after contracting the coronavirus last month, his radio station confirmed in a tweet on Saturday.
Nashville radio station WWTN, home of “The Phil Valentine Show,” announced his death over the weekend.
“We are saddened to report that our host and friend Phil Valentine has passed away. Please keep the Valentine family in your thoughts and prayers,” the station wrote.
Valentine was reportedly “fighting for his life” after he was transferred to a critical care unit in a Tennessee hospital in late July.
“Phil contracted the COVID virus a little over a week ago and has since been hospitalized and is in very serious condition, suffering from COVID Pneumonia and the attendant side effects,” his brother said in a statement at the time.
Prior to his death, the talk show host needed assistance with breathing and was placed on a ventilator.
The long-time radio personality was first recognized for his trademark rants against the state income tax proposed by then-Governor Don Sundquist, the Tennessean reported.
His radio program spanned 12 years and grew into a nationally syndicated show that aired on close to 100 stations, according to the newspaper.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and other Republican lawmakers expressed their condolences on Twitter.
“Phil Valentine was a visionary for the conservative movement, and he made an enormous impact on the lives of many Tennesseans,’ she wrote on Saturday. “My deepest condolences and prayers are with Phil’s wife, Susan, and his family. May they be comforted and surrounded by love during this difficult time.”
Tennessee State Representative Cameron Sexton credited the radio personality for making “a difference in life as a strong conservative voice & leading the fight to stop the state income tax two decades ago. He will be greatly missed by all!” Sexton wrote. “Our heartfelt prayers & deepest sympathies go out to the Valentine family & Phil’s radio family @997wtn.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee released his own statement on Twitter responding to news of Valentine’s death.
“Maria and I are deeply saddened by the loss of Phil Valentine,” he wrote, sending prayers “for his family as they navigate the difficult days ahead.”