(CNN) -- Paul Harvey, the legendary radio host whose career sharing "the rest of the story" with listeners spanned more than 70 years, has died, according to ABC Radio Networks.
Paul Harvey received the Medal of Freedom from President Bush in 2005.
He was 90.
Harvey died at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he kept a winter home, said Louis Adams, a spokesman for the networks. He was surrounded by family members when he died, Adams said.
Known for his deliberate delivery and pregnant pauses, Harvey's broadcasts were heard on more than 1,200 radio stations and 400 Armed Forces networks and his commentaries appeared in 300 newspapers, according to his Web site. iReport.com: Share your memories of Paul Harvey
He had been hosting his radio shows part-time for much of the past year, after recovering from physical ailments including pneumonia and the death of his wife, Lynne "Angel" Harvey, in May 2008.
"My father and mother created from thin air what one day became radio and television news," said Harvey's son, Paul Harvey Jr., in a written statement. "So, in the past year, an industry has lost its godparents and today millions have lost a friend."
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harvey began his radio career in 1933 at KVOO-AM there while he was still in high school, his Web site says. He helped clean the station and was eventually was allowed to fill in on air, reading news and commercials. Watch how Paul Harvey Aurandt got into broadcasting »
"Paul Harvey was one of the most gifted and beloved broadcasters in our nation's history," ABC Radio Networks President Jim Robinson said in a written statement. "As he delivered the news each day with his own unique style and commentary, his voice became a trusted friend in American households."
Some critics faulted Harvey for the way he seamlessly intertwined news stories with advertisements, which he often read in his own voice in the middle of a story.
But his accolades were plentiful -- from his 1990 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from then-President George W. Bush in 2005.
"Paul was a friendly and familiar voice in the lives of millions of Americans," Bush said Saturday in a written statement. "His commentary entertained, enlightened, and informed. Laura and I are pleased to have known this fine man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
The cause of Harvey's death was not immediately known. He was forced off the air temporarily in 2001 because of a virus that weakened a vocal cord.
CNN's Doug Gross contributed to this report.
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