Right until the end of a remarkable life, U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain remained true to his indefatigable, scrappy nature. A defiant prisoner of war in Vietnam for five-plus years and a dedicated public servant for six decades, the feisty but fair-minded Arizona Senator fought the good fight not only for his life but for America. After a courageous year-long battle against brain cancer, the 81-year-old statesman died Saturday at his Arizona ranch.
McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a virulent form of brain cancer, in July of 2017. He was surrounded by family and friends at his passing. He is survived by his wife, Cindy, seven children and five grandchildren.
“The nation has lost a true public servant in Senator John McCain,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “He earned the title ‘American Hero’ many times over. His courageous vote last year to protect Americans’ health care is just one example of his principled approach to his public service. He fought life’s challenges with distinction, honor and courage, from his time as a prisoner of war to his most recent battle with brain cancer. We have lost a great American, and all of us at AARP send our deepest sympathies to Cindy and his family.”
An outpouring of admiration and respect from political colleagues on both sides of the aisle regarding McCain’s extraordinary life flooded social media on Saturday.
In a statement, former President Barack Obama said: “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt.’’
“America and Freedom have lost one of her greatest champions . . . And I’ve lost one of my dearest friends and mentor,’’ tweeted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.