John McCain dead: The war hero Republican whose last stand was against his party’s own president

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Senator John McCain, the maverick of the Senate perhaps best known for his principled commitment to conservative principles and his home state of Arizona, has died, a year after a deadly brain cancer diagnosis. He was 81.

Mr McCain had chosen to continue on working following his diagnosis with an aggressive form of brain cancer last summer, after which he returned to the Senate chambers to deliver an impassioned plea for a return to normal order and respect in the legislative body amid an increasingly fractured political landscape in the United States.

The Senator from Arizona was a well known figure on Capitol Hill, where he would commonly stop to chat with reporters as he made his way to and from his office for votes and on business. Throughout his three decades long tenure, Mr McCain fostered an image as a unique presence in the Senate, as an individual set apart form his colleagues even in a chamber known for larger-than-life personalities.

A two-time US presidential candidate, Mr McCain became a household name as the 2008 Republican nominee, when he challenged the ascendant Barack Obama for the White House, but ultimately came up short in what became one of the most polarising and contentious contests in American electoral history.

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