Arizona Sen. John McCain, the former prisoner of war, Republican presidential nominee, and one of the most storied politicians in the modern era died Saturday at his Cornville ranch at the age of 81 after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.
His office released a brief statement on Saturday, “Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.”
President Trump, who has received criticism over the way he honored the late senator tweeted, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson a statement on the passing of Sen. John McCain sayin, “Today we not only lost a war hero and savvy politician but a man that always put true American values before himself. He was often open to dialogue and conversation about some of this country’s most controversial issues, and he will forever be remembered for his fighting spirit. We send our condolences to the McCain family and the constituents he proudly served in Arizona for 33 years.”
“He was a giant. An icon. An American hero,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey tweeted shortly after the announcement of McCain’s death. “But here at home, we were most proud to call him a fellow Arizonan.”
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McCain’s daughter Meghan shared her feelings on Twitter, as well.
“I was with my father at his end, as he was with me at my beginning. … My father is gone, and I miss him as only an adoring daughter can.”
McCain’s death marks the end of an extraordinary life in which the son and grandson of two Navy admirals rose from the bottom of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy to nearly winning the presidency.
In his 30-plus years in Congress, McCain would overcome an early scandal that threatened to end his political career and earned the nickname “Maverick” because of his willingness, at times, to break ranks with his own Republican party.
Although the presidency would elude McCain twice — in 2000 and again in 2008 — he remained one of the most influential voices in the Senate, particularly in the area of foreign policy.
In November 2016, voters elected him to his sixth term in the Senate.
But in July the following year, doctors diagnosed him with a glioblastoma, a rare and extremely lethal brain cancer.
The grim prognosis didn’t appear to immediately slow down McCain who kept a robust schedule and didn’t hold back his pointed criticism of President Donald Trump.
In fact, a week after he was diagnosed, McCain returned to Washington to deal President Trump’s healthcare bill a fatal blow in dramatic fashion.
That moment appeared to cement McCain’s reputation as a politician with a fierce independent streak, although his overall voting record shows he was more partisan than his public image.
But a review of McCain’s life shows that his story is one of survival.
As McCain said numerous times, “I’m the luckiest man I know.”
Flags across America were lowered to half-staff in McCain’s honor Saturday evening.