John McCain — American war hero, long-time U.S. Senator, and former Republican presidential candidate — passed away on Saturday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 81.
Late this week, McCain’s family announced that he would no longer receive cancer treatments and be placed in palliative care, and he passed soon thereafter. McCain’s wife, Cindy, tweeted on Saturday night to express her grief and thank those that have supported the family over the last few months.
Meghan McCain, the Arizona senator’s daughter and also co-host of The View, released a statement online on Saturday night.
The New York Times obituary of McCain detailed his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and the impact it had on the rest of his life.
Shot down over Hanoi, suffering broken arms and a shattered leg, he was subjected to solitary confinement for two years and beaten frequently. Often he was suspended by ropes lashing his arms behind him. He attempted suicide twice. His weight fell to 105 pounds. He rejected early release to keep his honor and to avoid an enemy propaganda coup or risk demoralizing his fellow prisoners.
He finally cracked under torture and signed a “confession.” No one believed it, although he felt the burden of betraying his country. To millions of Americans, Mr. McCain was the embodiment of courage: a war hero who came home on crutches, psychologically scarred and broken in body, but not in spirit. He underwent long medical treatments and rehabilitation, but was left permanently disabled, unable to raise his arms over his head. Someone had to comb his hair.
According to McCain’s office, he died at 4:28 p.m. local time on Saturday of a malignant brain tumor, a glioblastoma, which he had been treated for with radiation and chemotherapy since it was found in 2017. Despite his deteriorating condition, McCain famously appeared in the Senate that year to vote no on the Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.