US Senator John McCain dies aged 81

US Senator John McCain dies aged 81

"But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict".

President Donald Trump, who once criticised Mr McCain for being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War, said his "deepest sympathies and respect" went out to Mr McCain's family.

In his 36 years of service in Congress, McCain had acquired a reputation as a maverick Republican who was not shy about throwing American troops in harm's way.

McCain announced that he would instead vote for "some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president".

"Few of us have been tested the way John once was", former president and McCain's 2008 election opponent Barack Obama said in a statement.

Flake said that he was with McCain on Friday to say goodbye, and to thank McCain's family.

Former President George W. Bush called McCain a friend he will "deeply miss".

Sources quoted by United States media said Mr Trump would not be invited to the funeral and the current administration would probably be represented by Vice President Mike Pence.

Senator McCain noted his grandfather had steamed into Sydney Harbour as part of the Great White Fleet over 100 years earlier in 1908, returning to the South Pacific as a commander in World War II, that his father captained a US Navy submarine operating out of Perth in World War II, that he himself enjoyed the "cultural amenities" of Kings Cross while on R&R during the Vietnam conflict, and that his sons served alongside Australian personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The future Republican presidential candidate spent more than five years there, enduring torture but refusing an expedited release on account of his background. In 1986, he would go on to win an Arizona Senate seat.

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"It's an understatement to say the Senate will not be the same without our friend John", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who broke the news to a room of gasps at the Republican Party's annual Lincoln dinner in Kentucky.

"He also had a wicked sense of humour and it made every tense moment come out better".

Former Vice President Joe Biden said, "McCain will cast a long shadow", with his impact cemented in America's future.

"And the spirit that drove him was never extinguished: we are here to commit ourselves to something bigger than ourselves".

Mr McCain is expected to be remembered in Arizona and Washington before being buried, likely this week, at the Naval Academy Cemetery on a peninsula overlooking the Severn River.

Over the course of his career, Senator McCain served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and most recently, Armed Services.

Ducey said McCain was an American who will never be forgotten, and he was proud to call him a fellow Arizonan.

The office of Barack and Michelle Obama released a statement on the death of Mr McCain, in which Mr Obama wrote that despite all their differences, they shared "a fidelity to something higher - the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched and sacrificed".

His wife, Cindy McCain, said, "My heart is broken". I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. "He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best".

In her own statement, Meghan praised her father for inspiring her. "He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long", McCain continued. "We honour his lifetime of service to this nation in our military and in public life". Liberman recalled that in a recent meeting with McCain, the senator showed him a photo of his time in captivity and told him that "even despite my bad suffering I never wavered in my commitment to the values of freedom and justice".

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