John McCain, who endured much more than 5 years together a prisoner of war in Vietnam before ending up being the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and also serving Arizona for much more than 30 years on Capitol Hill, passed away Saturday at period 81.

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McCain died at 4:28 p.m. MST, his office announced. His wife and other family members were through him.

Destined to be remembered amongst the politics giants of Arizona history, the six-term U.S. Councilor disclosed in July 2017 the he had actually been diagnosed v a deadly kind of brain cancer referred to as glioblastoma.

Meghan McCain, his TV commentator daughter, wrote Saturday on Twitter: "I love friend forever - mine beloved father."

McCain to be a two-time presidential candidate, losing the GOP nomination in 2000 to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush and also the basic election in 2008 come then-Sen. Barack Obama.

The unsuccessful White house bids were spotlight moment in a lengthy political career that started with his choice to the U.S. Residence of representatives in 1982. After 2 terms, McCain ascended come the U.S. Senate in 1987, replacing legend Republican U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, who in 1964 to be the just other Arizonan to peak the national ticket of a significant U.S. Political party. McCain was re-elected to the Senate in 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016. He ended up being Arizona’s an elderly senator in 1995 and chairman the the influential equipped Services Committee in 2015.

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Often referred to as a maverick, McCain to be a facility personality and will be remembered together the most vital political figure to emerge from Arizona in the previous 50 years. 

He to be ensnared by the “Keating Five” scandal of the so late 1980s and also was considered by the Senate values Committee to have actually demonstrated negative judgment by joining four Senate partner in meeting v federal thrift regulators on behalf of political benefactor Charles H. Keating Jr., a savings-and-loan tycoon and developer.

It remained in the wake up of that scandal, in the 1990s and also early- to mid-2000s, McCain"s "maverick" reputation began to take shape, together he led fights for campaign finance reform and substantial immigration reform and against big Tobacco. During his 2000 presidential run, McCain famously decried leaders of the religious Right together “agents that intolerance,” a gutsy struggle to pick for a Republican.

The "maverick"

In 2015, his own presidential ambitions in the past, McCain clashed v Republican Donald trump in a windy feud that extended into Trump’s time in the White House.

On July 28, 2017, McCain sided through two other GOP senators and also all Democrats and cast a critical vote — a literal thumbs-down on the Senate floor — that stalled Republican efforts to roll ago the Affordable treatment Act, a optimal Trump priority.

Unlike plenty of of Trump’s GOP punching bags, McCain had the stature to go nose-to-nose v the president.

At one point in the beforehand 2000s, Democrats motivated McCain to take into consideration switching parties, and also 2004 autonomous presidential nominee john Kerry approached him around serving together his to run mate. However later, McCain veered to the right, a source of frequent frustrating come his ahead admirers top top the various other side of the aisle.

March 21:Slamming Putin call, McCain goes after Trump because that "congratulating dictators on winning sham elections"

March 18:Meghan McCain shares brand-new photo of Sen. John McCain

Interactive:John McCain"s American story

Although part on the appropriate sneered at what they perceived as McCain’s coziness v the nationwide media — because that years ~ his presidential run, he was a mainstay top top the Sunday television public-affairs shows — McCain often kept regional media in ~ arm’s length and also once wrote in a book that his long relationship with The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest newspaper, could reasonably be explained as “antagonistic.” However, the connection with The Republic and also other neighborhood media boosted in later on years.

McCain likewise had a love-hate partnership with his media-promoted reputation as a maverick, relying on that or distancing himself from it together the political situations warranted.

“That was a label that was given to me a lengthy time ago,” McCain told The Republic in 2010. “I don"t decide on the labels that ns am given. I stated I have constantly acted in what i think is in the best interests the the state and the country, and that’s the method that ns will constantly behave.”

Two presidential runs

McCain proved himself to it is in a mandrel in the side of his GOP rival, Bush, in ~ least early on in the an initial term of Bush’s presidency. The McCain vs. Bush fight in 2000 had taken a bitter turn in the southern Carolina primary, whereby McCain and his allies accused their conservative opponents of trying come smear him and his family.

However, he and also Bush reconciled together McCain aligned up because that his 2nd presidential run. A standard Senate hawk, McCain to be a an elderly member of the Senate equipped Services Committee and strongly sustained Bush’s battles in Afghanistan and Iraq. McCain additionally was a champion the the surging strategy that bush employed in Iraq in 2007.

During the 2008 presidential race, McCain had to overcome the lingering distrust of many conservatives that resented his maverick record, which included votes against key Bush tax cuts and McCain’s successful press for bipartisan campaign-finance-reform legislation.

His decision to gamble on the untested and little-known Alaska Gov. Buy it Palin as his running mate was cheered by the conservative wing of the Republican Party however may have actually hurt the GOP ticket among independent voters.


March 13:Meghan McCain: quiet no timetable for ailing father man McCain"s return to the Senate

March 4:Sen. John McCain, mam all smiles in springtime photo

“You can"t win with conditions this negative for the incumbent party,” Larry Sabato, manager of the facility for national politics at the college of Virginia, claimed after the election. “And that"s McCain"s consolation: the did fairly well under extremely difficult conditions. That was never meant to be.”

Looking earlier at the race in an august 2017 interview through The Republic, McCain largely concurred, though he stressed that Obama deserves the credit transaction for his victory.

"One, Barack Obama was a very, very solid candidate and also that"s the most essential thing," McCain said. "Second, as soon as the stock industry collapsed, it really sent us into a genuine drop. Third of all, ns guess, american were ready for a change, too.

“But I"d like to emphasize the an initial thing ns said: Barack Obama was an very impressive candidate and also he walk a an excellent job campaigning,” the added.

Taking on brand-new foes

Two years after his White home defeat, the tardy of McCain as an facility moderate to be still strong enough to lure a Senate main challenger from the right: previous six-term U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, a professional broadcaster that was known as a fierce opponent of illegal immigration.

In the year that the conservative “tea party” uprising, McCain take it no chances and greatly outspent Hayworth, ruining him in the process with an unrelenting barrage of hard-hitting TV project commercials. In one memorable ad aimed in ~ Hayworth’s conservative base, McCain rebranded himself together a border hard-liner by calling because that the completion of “the danged fence” in between the unified States and Mexico. ~ dispatching Hayworth in the primary, McCain effortlessly clinched a 5th Senate ax in the 2010 general election.

Feb. 28:Cindy and also Meghan McCain hit earlier at chairman Trump because that attacking sick Sen. Man McCain

Feb. 8:Meghan McCain: Flu season pertains to are maintaining John McCain in Arizona

Near the end of the term, McCain discovered himself feuding with celebrity-billionaire-turned-presidential-candidate Trump.

In a infamous July 18, 2015, jab at McCain, Trump said McCain to be “a war hero due to the fact that he to be captured” and that he liked “people the weren’t captured.”

Trump likewise derided McCain as weak top top immigration and border security. McCain returned the criticism top top a variety of issues, consisting of Trump’s method to foreign policy. In October 2016, McCain finally withdrew his endorsement of Trump ~ a 2005 record surfaced of trumped talking about women in crude and also vulgar ways.

Their duels may have actually helped McCain in that they do Democrats’ election-year efforts to tether McCain come Trump, who had made a series of inflammatory comments, all however impossible. McCain effortlessly defeated U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, and dramatically outperformed Trump, who additionally carried Arizona on choice Day yet by a lot slimmer margin.

A POW in phibìc Vietnam

John Sidney McCain III was born Aug. 29, 1936, in ~ the coco Solo navy Air terminal in the Panama Canal Zone. His father, john S. McCain Jr., and also grandfather, john S. “Slew” McCain Sr., would end up being the only father-son team that four-star navy admirals in U.S. History. During world War II, Slew McCain was in charge of aircraft carriers fighting the Japanese in the Pacific and also had a destroyer named in his honor in 1953. The youngest McCain followed in the footsteps the his namesakes, attending the U.S. Marine Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and also becoming a navy aviator.

In July 1967, throughout the Vietnam War, McCain survived a fiery marine disaster top top the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal that eliminated 134 world and almost sank the delivery in the Gulf that Tonkin. McCain was acquiring ready to take off from the deck once another plane accidentally fired a Zuni missile and hit his plane or one alongside it, spilling fuel. McCain was wounded by shrapnel and also narrowly escaped death himself in the blaze that complied with as bombs and also planes began exploding.

“The crew’s heroics kept her afloat,” McCain recalled in his 1999 memoir "Faith of mine Fathers." “They fought the inferno v a tenacity usually reserved for hand-to-hand combat. They fought it every day and well into the next, and also they saved the Forrestal.”

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On the 40th anniversary the his getting shot under over Hanoi, north Vietnam, McCain said The Republic that the Forrestal disaster may have impacted him much more deeply in the long run.

“To be honest with you, the Forrestal fire seems to it is in a more impactful day I remember more than the of once I to be shot down,” McCain stated at the time.

Surviving the Forrestal situation — the “Inferno at Sea” as the Aug. 11, 1967, covering of Life magazine dubbed it and also the worst marine disaster because World war II — was just the start for McCain.

On Oct. 26, 1967, McCain was piloting one A-4 Skyhawk strike bomber that had taken turn off from the USS Oriskany once a missile go out off among its wings. Serious wounded, he to be captured and also would spend an ext than 5 brutal years together a POW.

He refused beforehand release, i beg your pardon was available to him because he was the child of a marine admiral and also would have actually served phibìc Vietnamese propaganda purposes. If in custody, McCain was regularly beaten and also at one point confessed that he to be a “black criminal” and also an “air pirate,” which he would certainly remember as a low suggest of his life.

McCain lastly was released, together with other POWs, in 1973.

In 1977, McCain came to be the Navy’s liaison come the U.S. Senate, setting into motion his future career course as a politician.

After returning to the unified States, McCain’s very first marriage come the former Carol Shepp fell apart, and also the pair eventually divorced in 1980. He later on married Cindy Hensley, daughter of a affluent Arizona beer distributor. The 2 met in Hawaii. She to be 17 years younger than he was. McCain retirement from the navy in 1981, and his new marriage brought him come the Phoenix area.

The POW backstory was ready-made for a politician.

Political success – and scandal

In 1982, McCain ran for and also won the seat being vacated by the retiring previous U.S. House Minority Leader john Rhodes, R-Ariz. Despite McCain was dubbed a carpetbagger, he prevailed in a tough four-way GOP primary. He confronted no severe competition in the basic election.

McCain pushed earlier on the fee that he to be a political opportunist v no roots in Arizona. He claimed his Navy family was forced to move often.

“As a issue of fact, as soon as I think around it now, the place I live longest in mine life was Hanoi,” McCain said.

McCain was somewhat lucky in his very first U.S. Senate gyeongju in 1986. Veteran U.S. Rep. Bob Stump, R-Ariz., declined to run on the Republican side. Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, a popular Democrat with presidential ambitions, also decided no to try for the retiring Goldwater’s seat. A self-inflicted political wound briefly made things exciting — McCain had actually made an ill-advised referral to Phoenix-area retirement community leisure World together “Seizure World,” a place where 97 percent of the world voted and also “the other 3 percent were in extensive care” — however he quiet wound increase easily defeating Democratic opponent Richard Kimball.

Dec. 26:John McCain and also Jeff Flake was standing up because that U.S. Values and unity: Arizona Republic editorial

Dec. 20:McCain "headed ago to Washington" after the holidays, states Arizona governor

“Occasionally, my feeling of feeling is ill-considered or ill-timed, and that have the right to be a problem," McCain later conceded in his 2002 book, "Worth the Fighting For."

Early in his an initial Senate term, McCain and fellow U.S. Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., and three other senators participated in 2 April 1987 meetings with federal thrift regulators that were investigating California-based Lincoln to save & Loan. The troubled service was part of Charles H. Keating Jr."s financial empire.

Keating had donated and also helped raise money because that both Arizona senators. The McCain family also vacationed with Keating in the Bahamas. As soon as the meetings were made public, McCain and DeConcini uncovered themselves in ~ the love of a significant national scandal that caused 23 work of Senate principles hearings.

“I to be judged eventually, after three years, that using, quote, poor judgment, and I agree with that assessment,” McCain would later on say.


The federal government seized Lincoln to save & Loan in April 1989 and also prosecuted Keating because that fraud.

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Though DeConcini, who was determined to have actually acted inappropriately, would not operation for a 4th term in 1994, McCain search a second Senate hatchet in 1992 and also was may be to overcome the Keating five stigma. The controversy also didn’t do lot to hinder his presidential operation in 2000 and also 2008 and was mainly forgotten during his later years in the Senate.

"It"s old history," Bruce Merrill, the so late Arizona State college professor emeritus and longtime politics pollster, said of the scandal top top Keating’s death in 2014. "It"s amazing he (McCain) made it through that, and also I guess one might argue that his political skills brought him through that.”

McCain had seven children, consisting of television commentator and author Meghan McCain. His household lived in the central Phoenix area for years.

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