The Wider World

Arizona Sen. John McCain dead at 81

JOHN McCAIN announcing his campaign for president in 2007. (Wikipedia/River Bissonette)

John S. McCain, a U.S. Senator who was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in 2008, is dead at the age of 81. The cause was brain cancer.

A naval aviator in his youth, McCain was shot down flying a combat mission over Hanoi, Vietnam in 1967. Held as a prisoner of war, he was tortured and held in harsh conditions until his release in 1973.

He moved to Arizona and entered politics, serving two terms in the U.S House of Representatives. McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 and was re-elected five times, including in 2016.

Often considered a maverick for his independent voice and stances, McCain advocated for campaign finance reform and better relations with Vietnam.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, but was defeated by Gov. George W. Bush of Texas. He ran successfully in 2008 for the GOP nomination but was defeated by Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.

McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2017. He is survived by his wife, Cindy Hensley, and seven children.


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