John McCain, who shed a playboy image in his youth to become a fighter pilot, revered prisoner of war and both an independent voice in the Republican Party and its 2008 presidential nominee, died on Saturday, little more than a year after he was told he had brain cancer. He was 81.
McCain’s office said in a statement "Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018." He announced on July 19, 2017, that he had been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumor. Earlier this week his family announced he was discontinuing treatment.
"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 sixty years," McCain's office said in the statement.
In his 36 years in Congress, McCain became one of the country's most respected and influential politicians, challenging his fellow lawmakers to reach across the aisle for the good of the country, and often sparring with reporters with a biting if self-deprecating wit.
On a variety of issues — torture, immigration, campaign finance, the Iraq War — McCain was often known as the moral center of the Senate and of the Republican Party.
Last year, in his last act of defiance, McCain returned to the Capitol less than a week after his cancer was diagnosed to cast his vote on the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act — the biggest legislative achievement of President Barack Obama, the man who defeated him in the 2008 election.
McCain first voted in favor of debating the bill, giving his fellow Republicans hope that their long-sought goal of repealing Obamacare was in sight. McCain then dashed those hopes by casting the decisive vote against repeal.