US Senator John McCain Dies at 81

US Senator John McCain Dies at 81US Senator John McCain Dies at 81

John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War veteran who was a senior voice on defense and foreign policy in the US Senate, has died at the age of 81.

McCain died at 4:28 p.m. Saturday, his office said in an emailed statement. His wife Cindy and his family were with the senator when he passed away at his home in Arizona, Bloomberg reported.

In July 2017, McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. One year of treatment failed to prevent his condition from worsening and on Aug. 24 his family announced that he had chosen to discontinue medical care.

The onetime Navy pilot was North Vietnam's most prominent prisoner of war. After returning from over five years of captivity, McCain began a congressional career of more than three decades that made him a force in national politics. He ran for president in 2000 and 2008, winning the Republican nomination in his second campaign but losing to Democrat Barack Obama.

The Arizona Republican served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was frequently a sharp critic of President Donald Trump. A defense hawk who sought increased military spending, McCain infuriated many in his party by violating GOP orthodoxy on other issues. In July 2017, he joined two other Republicans in voting with Democrats to kill a GOP-only effort to repeal Obama's health-care law, the Affordable Care Act.

McCain had returned to the Capitol following his brain-cancer diagnosis to vote on the health-care bill. In a dramatic speech on the Senate floor days before the final vote, he urged colleagues to curb hyper-partisanship and criticized GOP leaders for drafting their bill in secret and without Democratic input.

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