NATIONWIDE -- Arizona Senator John McCain, a former Vietnam POW, died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 81.

  • Sen. John McCain dead at the age of 81
  • McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017
  • Six-term Arizona senator was a POW during the Vietnam War

"Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018," McCain's office said in a statement. "With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years."

McCain's daughter, Meghan, shared a statement on Twitter.

"My father's passing comes with sorrow and grief for me, for my mother, for my brothers, and for my sisters. He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long."

Cindy McCain, John McCain's wife, also posted a statement on Twitter.

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

In 2017, the six-term senator announced he had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor. On Friday, his family announced he was discontinuing treatment. 

"John has surpassed expectations for his survival," the Aug. 24 statement said. "But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of the age render their verdict."

McCain, a Republican, ran for president twice. He lost the GOP nomination to George W. Bush during the 2000 election. For the 2008 election, McCain once again made a bid for the White House, but was defeated by then Democrat Senator Barack Obama. 

Before serving in Congress, McCain served in the U.S. Navy.

In 1967, his plane was shot down over Hanoi, the North Vietnamese capital. McCain was captured and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years.