US Senator John McCain, war hero, vocal critic of Trump, dies at 81

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 26, 2018, 06.33 AM(IST)

File photo of John McCain. Photograph:( Reuters )

US Senator John McCain died Saturday. McCain, 81, had been battling brain cancer.

"Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 pm on August 25, 2018. With the senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family," his office said in a statement."

At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years," the statement added. 

"I was with my father at his end, as he was with me at my beginning," his daughter Meghan McCain said in a statement.

"All that I am is thanks to him. Now that he is gone, the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love,” she added.

''I love you forever - my beloved father,'' she tweeted.

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''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,'' Cindy McCain, wife of John McCain tweeted.

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McCain had most recently been in the news for his criticism of Donald Trump, something most Republicans seem to avoid doing nowadays. 

McCain had slammed Trump's America First ideology, but he had had a long and illustrious career much before that.

He was the Vietnam War's most well-known American prisoner of war because his father was the commander of all American forces in the Pacific at the time. 

McCain, a navy pilot, was shot down over Hanoi. He broke bath arms and a leg while ejecting.  

He spent five-and-a half-years in captivity, two of them in solitary confinement. He was tortured and often beaten.

He came out of the war unable to raise his arms over his head. He had to have his hair combed for him. 

Trump said in the run-up to the presidency that he did not like people who had been "captured", setting off the rancour between the two men. 

After retiring from the navy, McCain was first elected to office in 1982, when he won a seat in the US House of Representatives from Arizona.

Four years later he was elected to the Senate, and he was re-elected five times. 

He ran against George W Bush for the Republican nomination for the presidency, but came out second best. 

He won the candidacy and fought against Barack Obama, but again came out second best.