CORNVILLE, AZ – John McCain, the maverick senator from Arizona, Vietnam war veteran and a prisoner of war for five years, a former presidential candidate known for his sometimes hot temper, died surrounded by family just a day after it was announced he would no longer be receiving treatment for a very aggressive brain tumor. He was 81.
Senator McCain was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in July of 2017 after doctors discovered the tumor during a medical procedure. He flew back to Washington just days after the surgery to be involved with the health care debate taking place in the Senate.
A statement was issued by his family on August 24th stating:
Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: he had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious. In the year since John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has no chosen to discontinue medical treatment.
Cindy, McCain’s second wife tweeted about that her “heart is broken” as the information of his passing was released.
My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) August 26, 2018
“My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years,” the Tweet reads. “He passed away the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the placed he loved best.”
An extended comment of admiration was released by Meghan, McCain’s daughter on her social media.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 26, 2018
“My father is gone, and I miss him as only an adoring daughter can,” she wrote. “He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long. We know that his flame lives on, in each of us. The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad — but they will be good days, filled with life and love, because of the example he lived for us.”
Born in the Panama Canal to naval officer John S. and Roberta McCain in 1936 he was a third generation military family. He would enter the Vietnam War and fly 23 bomber missions before being captured in October 1967. It would not be until March of 1973 – after being a prisoner for 5 1/2 years – that McCain would be released to go back home.
After relocating to Arizona McCain enters politics and serves as the Navy’s military liaison to the Senate, is elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and successfully win’s the race to replace the conservative hero Senator Barry Goldwater in 1986.
McCain would eventually run twice for president, once in 2000 and again in 2008 choosing then-Governer of Alaska Sarah Palin as his running mate.
The last few years have proven tumultuous as President Trump and he butted heads over immigration, McCain’s war record, Trumps supposed comments about illegal aliens and inappropriate comments made about women by then-candidate Trump.
The New York Times reports that McCain has requested President Trump not come to any of his funeral services and instead send Vice President Mike Pence at a memorial service.
Sen. McCain is survived by his current wife, Cindy, seven children and five grandchildren.