John McCain, Veteran US Senator, Dies Battling Cancer at 81
Senior Republican Senator John McCain (Photo: Credits: Getty Images)

Washington, August 26: Veteran US senator and war hero John McCain breathed his last on Saturday (local time) at the age of 81 after a prolonged illness. Reports inform that the news of his demise was confirmed by the senator's daughter Meghan McCain, who penned an emotional post on her father's demise on Twitter, captioned " I love you forever - my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain".

On Thursday, McCain's family had announced that he had stopped treatment for brain cancer, one year after the Republican went public with his diagnosis. In 2017, McCain was diagnosed with primary glioblastoma, a type of a brain tumour. The illness operated upon to remove a blood clot, in Phoenix, Arizona. In April this year, the senator underwent surgery once again to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis.

The announcement on Thursday by his family signalled the beginning of the end of a tough battle with what was termed as an aggressive form of cancer -- and of a storied life that took the Naval Academy graduate from a Hanoi prison to the doorstep of the White House.

To recall, the 81-year old leader had spent more than three decades in the upper chamber of Congress, looming large in debates over war and peace and the moral direction of the nation. The Navy fighter pilot spent years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam after being shot down while on a bombing mission over Hanoi.  With no more elections to run, since 2016, he was a rare and outspoken Republican critic of President Donald Trump.

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