WASHINGTON (Reuters): US Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2008 as a self-styled maverick Republican, and a prominent critic of President Donald Trump, died on Saturday, his Office said. He was 81.
A senator for Arizona for more than three decades, McCain had been suffering from glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer, since July 2017, and had not been at the US Capitol this year.
His family said on Friday that McCain was discontinuing cancer treatment.
He died on Saturday afternoon with his wife Cindy and other family members at his bedside. “At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years,” said a statement from his Office.
McCain frequently sparred with President Donald Trump and told his family he did not want Trump to attend his funeral, CNN reported, citing family friends.
Flags were flying at half-staff at the White House on Sunday morning, hours after Trump tweeted his “deepest sympathies and respect” to McCain’s family.
McCain will lie in state in both Phoenix, Arizona, and in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.
He will receive a full dress funeral service at the Washington National Cathedral, where Vice President Mike Pence is expected to represent the current administration, before being buried in Annapolis, Maryland, his family said.
Paying tribute to his one-time election opponent, former President Barack Obama described McCain as an idealist and said there was “something noble” about their political battles.
“My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years,” Cindy McCain wrote on Twitter. “He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”