The longtime Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who passed away Saturday at age 81, died from the same cancer as his colleague, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), did nine years ago.
The late Arizona senator died at the age of 81 of an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma on August 25, 2018—nine years after Kennedy died of the same cancer on August 25, 2009, at the age of 77.
Although McCain and Kennedy had been on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum, they had a close friendship.
“Ted Kennedy had this unique way of doing hand to hand combat on the floor of the Senate,” McCain said in a CNN interview following Kennedy’s death in 2009.
“As soon as we stopped our speech-making, he’d come over and put his arm around you and — and make everybody appreciate that we had our differences politically, but personally, we could be friends and work together as colleagues and friends for the good of the country,” he added.
When Kennedy’s widow heard of McCain’s passing on Saturday, she released a statement echoing McCain’s kind words:
“Tonight we lost an uncompromising patriot and a man of immeasurable courage. Getting to know John McCain was one of the great privileges of my life, and I know my late husband Ted felt the same way.” @VickiKennedyMA statement on the passing of Senator John McCain. pic.twitter.com/k1yKsKX2ks
— Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate (@EMKInstitute) August 26, 2018
Kennedy served a 47-year career as the U.S. senator from Massachusetts, taking office in November 1962 and serving until his death in August 2009. McCain had a 31-year career as the U.S. senator from Arizona, assuming office in January 1987 and serving until his death in August 2018.