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DC, USA (UPDATED) - John McCain, a war hero and towering figure in US politics known for reaching across the aisle in an increasingly divided nation, died on Saturday, August 25, following a battle with brain cancer.

McCain, 81, died Saturday at his ranch in Arizona after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

Mr McCain, a senator from Arizona, announced he had gioblastoma condition in July 2017, leading many to fear that he would not be around for much longer. Earlier this week his family announced he was discontinuing treatment. With his good-natured sales pitches for things like "McCain's Fine Gold" (featuring a cameo from Cindy McCain) and self-deprecating humor ("I'm a true maverick - a Republican without money"), the Senator held his own with comedy veteran Fey and generated plenty of laughs himself.

His office said in a statement that his wife Cindy McCain and their family were alongside him when he died.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the McCain's death marks a "sad day for the United States", which has lost a "decorated war hero and statesman".

When anti-war protesters stormed a Senate hearing where former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was speaking, McCain ordered that they be escorted out of the hall by police and condemned the activists as "low-life scum".

Former President George W. Bush, who was also a political opponent of McCain during the 2000 Republican Party primary election, lauded his career serving the U.S., first in the military and war, and second in the U.S. Congress. McCain then dashed those hopes by casting the decisive vote against repeal.

Shaked lauded the veteran US Navy pilot for his refusal of an offer from the Vietcong to release him in 1968 when his father, John S. McCain Jr, was named commander of all USA forces in Vietnam. He opposed the president's nominee for Central Intelligence Agency director because of her past role in overseeing torture, scolded Trump for alienating US allies at an worldwide summit, labeled the administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy "an affront to the decency of the American people" and denounced the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki as a "tragic mistake" in which the president put on "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory".

President Donald Trump shared his condolences to the family. As a leader of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, he was at the forefront of a group of senators who saw Putin's Russian Federation as a growing threat to America.

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A conservative on most issues, he pushed for campaign finance reform and the effort to account for those missing in Vietnam.

He lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama, and was pilloried for selecting controversial Alaska politician Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running-mate.

McCain retired from the Navy in 1981.

John McCain speaks at a 2008 campaign rally in Defiance, Ohio.

He will be laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.

"During one of our last meetings in Washington D.C.", wrote Liberman, "he showed me a photograph taken when he was in captivity and said: "Despite the bad suffering, I never doubted my commitment to the values of freedom and justice". He developed a reputation for being the life of the party and misbehaved frequently, graduating fifth from the bottom of his class.

After graduation, McCain volunteered for combat duty in the Vietnam War and, as a lieutenant commander, got orders to ship out in 1967. He ejected from the plane, which knocked him unconscious and broke both his arms and a leg.

That began a five-and-a-half-year nightmare inside a prison where Vietnamese soldiers, upon learning that McCain was the son of an admiral, set out to use him for propaganda purposes.

The scion of a decorated military family, McCain embraced his role as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, pushing for aggressive US military intervention overseas and eager to contribute to "defeating the forces of radical Islam that want to destroy America".