Senator John McCain has died

US Senator John McCain dies aged 81

John McCain, who has died at the age of 81, was a distinguished public servant who rose to become the Republican party's nominee for president of the United States.

It was a stark contrast between McCain, then a 72-year-old veteran of the Washington establishment, and the 47-year-old Obama, who was offering a "Yes, we can" message of change. As the son and grandson of four-star Navy admirals, McCain followed in their footsteps by attending the U.S. Naval Academy, where he continued to rebel against regulations and graduated near the bottom of his class. He was elected to Congress in 1982 and the Senate in 1986.

He was diagnosed in July 2017 and began treatment in September at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, next to Walter Reed.

McCain divorced his wife Carol after 15 years of marriage in 1980 and weeks later married the former Cindy Henley, daughter of a wealthy beer distributor in Arizona.

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And thought they were on opposite sides of the aisle, "We're like two brothers who were somehow raised by different fathers or something because of our points of view", Biden said. During a recent appearance by former Vice President Joe Biden, who is promoting his new book, "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and goal", the Democrat lauded Meghan's father and offered words of encouragement.

"Senator John McCain has always been a fighter", the President said in a statement at the time.

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Former president George W. Bush called McCain's voice "so vibrant, it's hard to think of [him] stilled". "He was an inspirational leader and war hero; a man of integrity and bravery", Peters said.

Senator McCain quickly pivoted, noting the US-Australia alliance rests on more than nostalgia for our shared sacrifice, but animated by our hopes for the future, by the common belief that "our destinies are inseparable from the character of the broader world order".

"I never met him personally, but from afar respected the man for what he stood for and who he was", Edwards said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said he had offered his condolences to the people of the United States and McCain's family.

The longtime Arizona senator died of brain cancer complications.

John McCain (bottom right) with his US Navy squadron in 1965.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown released a statement Saturday night saying, "John McCain was an American hero who embodied our nation's most cherished values: service and sacrifice".

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What happens to John McCain's Senate seat?

"John McCain's life is proof that some truths are timeless".

"John put principle before politics".

McCain was taken prisoner and stayed in an infamous prison known as the "Hanoi Hilton". "I have lost a wonderful friend".

McCain's condition worsened last fall, and he has been in Arizona since December.

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, McCain said: "That I made a major contribution to the defence of the nation".

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