John McCain, a Republican senator and two-time contender for the office of the president of the United States, is dead.
McCain, aged 81, died on Saturday at his home in Arizona, the New York Times reports, quoting a statement from the deceased’s office.
“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on Auguts 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 60 years,” the statement read.
A native of Arizona, the war veteran and “hero” as he was known in his country, survived several bouts of skin and prostate cancer before succumbing to Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, which was diagnosed in July 2017.
McCain was brutally tortured by the North Vietnamese, spending five and a half years as a prisoner of war in the Hỏa Lò prison, dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton.”
McCain’s family had recently announced that the senator had decided to stop his cancer treatment.
“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 now chosen to discontinue medical treatment,” the statement read.
In his political career which spanned three decades, the senator contested twice for the office of the president under the Republican Party.
His first defeat was in 2000 when he lost to George W. Bush and subsequently in 2008, when he lost to Barrack Obama, who later became the first black president of the US.
Cindy McCain, his wife, expressed her pain in a tweet.
“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,” she tweeted.
Meghan McCain, his daughter, also tweeted her love for her father alongside a statement.
US President Donald Trump also expressed his sympathy to the McCain family via Twitter.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!,” Trump tweeted.
Obama issued a statement in which he expressed his respect for McCain’s values.
“We shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher – the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed,” the statement by Obama read.
Former US Vice president Al Gore described McCain as an “American hero and a true patriot.”
Other US politicians including Sarah Palin, former vice presidential nominee and Joe Biden, former vice president also paid tributes to McCain.