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U.S. Senator John McCain Dies at 81

He died following a lengthy battle with brain cancer.

Kaitlin Thomas

John McCain, the six-term Arizona senator and one-time Republican presidential nominee, died Saturday, Aug. 25, at his home following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 81.

McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor known as a glioblastoma in July 2017 and had recently decided to discontinue treatment. His office confirmed his death in a statement. "At his death he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years," the statement read, noting his family, including wife Cindy, were with him when he died. McCain had not been present in the Senate since December.

Born Aug. 29, 1936, McCain was a former Navy pilot who was held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five-and-a-half years. Elected to Congress in the early 1980s, he ran for Senate in 1986, succeeding Barry Goldwater. In 2000, he ran for president, but lost the Republican primary to then-nominee George W. Bush. He ran again in 2008, this time with Sarah Palin as a running mate. He was defeated in the general election by democratic challenger Barack Obama.

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Though his career was in politics, McCain was no stranger to television. He appeared on Saturday Night Live a few times, hosting the sketch comedy program in 2002. He also appeared opposite Tina Fey, as Palin, during the 2008 election. He made cameos on Parks and Recreation and 24.

On Saturday, McCain's wife tweeted, "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."

In a lengthy statement, his daughter Meghan wrote, "My father's passing comes with sorrow and grief for me, for my mother, for my brothers, and for my sisters. He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long."

McCain is survived by his mother Roberta, wife Cindy, and their children, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy and Bridget. He also is survived by Sidney, a daughter from his first marriage to Carol Shepp, along with two adopted sons, Douglas and Andrew.