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Sen. John McCain surrenders to cancer, dies at 81

Former Vietnam war hero, and Senator of the United States (U.S) Mr. John battled brain cancer for nearly one year but surrendered to the debilitating disease on Saturday at the ripe age of 81.

The presidential candidate and Vietnam prisoner of war gave up the ghost just a few days after it was announced that he had decided to stop medical treatment.

The family announced the senator’s death in a statement in which it said McCain had served the United States faithfully for 60 years.

“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. 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,” the statement read.

McCain was came into the limelight as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down over Hanoi in 1967, and a few months earlier, he, then a Navy pilot, had survived a deadly fire on the USS Forrestal, an aircraft carrier.

 

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McCain was held for more than five years in a Hanoi prison, where he was tortured and often deprived of sleep and food, and when he was offered early release by his captors, he refused to go home before the other Prisoners of war.

The son and grandson of Navy admirals, McCain represented Arizona  since 1982, first at the House of Representatives for two terms and then at the Senate for more than three decades – since 1986, during which he twice sought the presidency.

He ran for president in 2000, but lost the Republican nomination to George Bush who became the eventual 43rd president, and in 2008, he ran again, this time winning his party’s nomination. However, he lost the general election to former President Barack Obama.

McCain was reputed as an independent willing to work with Democrats on immigration and campaign finance, and was a fierce critic of Russia and a strong proponent of an aggressive U.S. role against the Islamic State extremist group.

 

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He was diagnosed with a tumour called a glioblastoma, in July 2017. The disease is an aggressive type of brain cancer but returned to the Senate after his diagnosis and cast a crucial vote against a Republican bill to upturn the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare.

The senator is survived by his mother, Roberta; his wife, Cindy; two sons and a daughter from a first marriage, Douglas, Andrew and Sidney; four children from his second marriage, Meghan McCain, Jimmy McCain, Jack McCain and Bridget McCain; a brother, Joseph McCain; a sister, Jean McCain Morgan; and five grandchildren.

Following the official announcement of McCain’s demise, tributes have continued to pour in from leaders in the United States, eulogies from liberal and conservative figures alike and the global community.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his predecessors, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, have paid tributes in McCain’s memory.

Trump, paid his tribute from his twitter handle, Saturday evening where he said: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

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