American titan, war hero and political leader John McCain has died, aged 81 3 years ago

American titan, war hero and political leader John McCain has died, aged 81

'It's been quite a ride'

John McCain has died aged 81.

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A titan of American politics, he was killed by an aggressive brain tumour for which his family announced he had stopped treatment on Friday.

He made two runs at the presidency - losing out to George Bush in 2000, before securing the Republican nomination in 2008 only to meet a mercurial Barack Obama in the campaign.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gestures to U.S. Rep. Peter King before the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term as President of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) McCain at Barack Obama's second inauguration (Credit: Win McNamee)

McCain dominated the American senate and his final years battled Donald Trump over existential questions about the Republican party's place in national discourse, questions that will likely echo for years to come.

A hero of the Vietnam war, McCain was a fighter pilot shot down behind enemy lines. After being captured by the Vietcong he was a prisoner of war for five years and subjected to torture that left him with lasting disabilities.

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The Republican left Washington, in December 2017, a six-time senator. In July doctors discovered a brain tumour during an operation to remove a blood clot from his eye. He died on Saturday at home surrounded by his family.

ARLINGTON, VA - NOVEMBER 14: U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley (R) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) watch a special Twilight Tattoo performance November 14, 2017 at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. Sen. McCain was honored with the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for over 63 years of dedicated service to the nation and the U.S. Navy. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) In 2017 McCain was honoured with the outstanding civilian service medal at a special military twilight tattoo (Credit: Alex Wong)

His widow, Cindy, 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 place he loved best."

Mourners lined the streets, waving American flags, as his body was transported from his ranch in Cornville, Arizona to a funeral home in Phoenix.

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His daughter, Meghan, said "to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love" would be the principle that guided her for the rest of her life.

In his memoir, published in May, McCain wrote: "It's been quite a ride. I've known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make peace.

"I've lived very well and I've been deprived of all comforts. I've been as lonely as a person can be and I've enjoyed the company of heroes. I've suffered the deepest despair and experienced the highest exultation.

"I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times."

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PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 25: The Arizona Diamondbacks paid tribute to the late US Senator John McCain during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Chase Field on August 25, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. All players across MLB will wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) The Arizona Diamondbacks paid tribute to the late US Senator at a game on Saturday (Credit: Norm Hall)

His family have made clear President Donald Trump will not be invited to Mr McCain's funeral. It's understood George Bush and Barack Obama have been asked to give eulogies.