John McCain died at the age of 81. He survived a stay at the Hanoi Hilton and skin cancer before succumbing to glioblastoma.
McCain had recently decided to discontinue medical treatment. Though McCain had “surpassed expectations for survival,” the family said in an Aug. 24 statement about the decision that “the progress of the disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.”
The senator had been away from the Capitol since December. Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to name a replacement who would serve out the remainder of McCain’s term through the 2020 election.
The son and grandson of Navy admirals, McCain was a former Navy pilot and was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years. He was elected to Congress in the early 1980s and elected to the Senate in 1986, replacing Barry Goldwater who retired. McCain gained a reputation as a lawmaker who was willing to stick to his convictions rather than go along with party leaders.
He was a frequent target of criticism from President Donald Trump, especially for his vote against a Republican replacement for “Obamacare,” the health care law approved under President Barack Obama. Trump signed a military policy bill this month named for McCain, but in a sign of their testy relationship, the president made no mention of McCain’s name in remarks at a signing ceremony.
On Aug. 24, McCain’s wife, Cindy, took to Twitter to say: “I love my husband with all of my heart. God bless everyone who has cared for my husband along this journey.”
McCain was a long-term survivor of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. Doctors classified his brain cancer as a “primary tumor,” meaning it was not related to his former malignancies.
McCain ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008 before losing the general election to Obama.