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McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

On Friday, his family said that McCain, "with his usual strength of will", chose to stop treatment for the stage-four brain cancer he had been battling since its diagnosis last summer.

McCain, a celebrated Vietnam War hero and a two-time presidential candidate was diagnosed with a tumour on July 2017 and was undergoing medical treatment since then. "At John's best, he showed us what that means and for that, we are all in his debt".

McCain's death was duly noted by both Democrats and Republicans in Washington and elsewhere, as well as celebrities and world leaders, who released statements and tweets in support of the Arizona Republican.

On Saturday, McCain's wife tweeted, "My heart is broken. He passed the way he lived, on his terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best".

Former vice-president Joe Biden, who developed a friendship with McCain while they served together in the Senate, said the Arizona lawmaker will "cast a long shadow".

"In all my years in Congress, I recall only a select few countries that rose so quickly to such an exalted esteem", McCain wrote two years ago.

The family announced in a statement: "Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28 p.m. on August 25, 2018". McCain was a prisoner of war for more than five years.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wrote, "John McCain was a true American hero who served his country with honor throughout his life, and our nation has lost a great man". The move reportedly infuriated Mr Trump.

Sarah Palin, who joined the McCain ticket as the potential vice president in the 2008 campaign, mourned her one-time running mate, calling him a friend, maverick and and an "American original".

McCain spent his final months with his second wife, Cindy, at their ranch in Sedona, Arizona.

Others outside of Georgia are also sending condolences.

A police escort accompanied the hearse that carried his body, as a fiery sunset cast its last light over the rustic countryside McCain loved dearly, and local residents came bearing flowers for the late political titan.

John McCain's contentious relationship with Donald Trump continued into the Arizona Senator's final days, with the Arizona Senator reportedly telling close friends and family that he did not want the president to attend his funeral. "But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own".