Sen. John McCain Dead at 81

The war hero and revered senator recently stopped treatment for brain cancer.

Sen. John McCain

Shortly after ceasing treatment for brain cancer, Republican senator and former presidential nominee John McCain has died. He was 81.

Senator McCain was recognized around the world as a war hero after more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, which left him with physical ailments that plagued him for the rest of his life.

John McCain as he sits on a sofa during a interview, April 24, 1973. About a month prior, he had been released and returned from Vietnam.

He was first elected to congress in 1986 and continued representing his home state of Arizona till his death. 

He had a reputation as a stalwart conservative, but one unafraid to reach across the aisle to the other side when he felt it would benefit his constituents and the country at large. 

McCain first ran for president in 2000, losing the Republican nomination to George W. Bush. He once again ran for the office in 2008. He faced Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the general election, losing with 46 percent of the popular vote.

The senator had the kind of steely resolve and demeanor you’d expect from a man who’d survived in Vietnamese prison till nearly the end of the war, but social media tributes following his death indicated both warmth and respect from many who knew him.

The McCain family issued a statement after his death:

With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment. Our family is immensely grateful for the support and kindness of all his caregivers over the last year, and for the continuing outpouring of concern and affection from John’s many friends and associates, and the many thousands of people who are keeping him in their prayers.

John McCain leaves behind seven children and wife Cindy. He also leaves behind a legacy as an unimpeachable politician respected by all who knew him. RIP.