John McCain, Arizona Senator Dies at 81

Arizona Senator John McCain has passed away at his home in Sedona, Arizona. He was 81 years old. 

McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer in July 2017 and underwent various treatments, including both chemotherapy and radiation over the last year. His family announced Friday that the senator would discontinue treatment, thanking everyone for their love and support.

McCain was born August 29th, 1936 at a military base in Panama and dedicated his life to public service. Influenced by his father and grandfather - both of whom were four-star admirals - McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1958 and went on to serve as a naval aviator, flying ground-attack aircraft during the Vietnam War. 

While performing a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967, McCain's plane was shot down by a missile, seriously injuring him leading to his capture by the North Vietnamese. He spent the next five and a half years as a prisoner of war being tortured and beaten by his jailers. Wounds he received during his time there resulted in physical disabilities he would carry with him for the rest of his life. McCain eventually signed an anti-U.S. propaganda "confession" that he always felt was dishonorable. But as he later wrote about the experience, "I had learned what we all learned over there: every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine."

McCain ran for office after retiring from the Navy and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 where he served two terms. In 1986, he was first elected to the U.S. Senate where he remained for the rest of his career, where he remained a "maverick" for his willingness to buck the Republican party on certain issues. 

McCain ran for President twice - once in 2000 during which he was defeated in the primary by the eventual general election winner, President George W. Bush. He ran again in 2008, winning the Republican primary, but eventually lost to Barack Obama in the general election. In a new book, "The Restless Wave," McCain expressed regret for his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, saying he wished he had chosen his friend, Senator Joe Lieberman instead. 

McCain leaves behind a wife, Cindy, daughters Meghan and Bridget, and sons, John and James. 

PHOTO: Getty Images

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