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John McCain, Vietnam War hero and longtime Arizona senator, dies at 81

John McCain, the longtime Republican senator who twice ran for the White House after spending more than 5 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, died Saturday. He was 81. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

John McCain, the longtime Arizona senator who twice sought the White House after spending more than 5 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, died Saturday. He was 81.

What are the details?

McCain died at 4:28 p.m. local Arizona time Saturday afternoon, his office said in a statement. He was surrounded with the warmth and love of his family.

"Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years," the statement said.

His death came just one day after McCain's family announced he was discontinuing medical treatment following a heroic battle with glioblastoma, a form of very aggressive brain cancer. He was diagnosed last July after doctors removed a blood clot from behind his left eye. Doctors also quickly removed the tumor. McCain's health recovered remarkably well, but as the months went on, it also began to deteriorate.

McCain began chemotherapy and radiation after his surgery and continued to receive the treatments until Friday. On Dec. 17, the same week Congress was scheduled to vote on tax reform, it was announced that McCain would miss the vote due to complications with his chemotherapy treatment. He was admitted to a hospital the prior Wednesday to help fight chemotherapy complications.

McCain left Washington for the final time to spend Christmas with his family. At the time, it was unclear when or if McCain would ever return to Washington.

Prior to embarking on his congressional career in 1983, McCain spent 23 years in the Navy as a naval aviator. He flew 23 combat missions in Vietnam before he was captured by the North Vietnamese. McCain remained in captivity for five and a half years, refusing preferential treatment, which the North Vietnamese offered because his dad was a high-ranking admiral.

McCain married his wife, Cindy, in 1980 and retired from the Navy in 1981 with the rank of Captain, the Navy's equivalent of full-bird colonel.

He spent four years in the House of Representatives before moving on to the Senate in 1987 where he remained until his death. He ran for the White House in 2008 as the Republican nominee but lost to eventual President Barack Obama.

McCain is survived by his wife, Cindy, seven children and five grandchildren.

What did McCain's family say?

Wife Cindy:

Daughter Meghan McCain:

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