Yahoo! News Photo Staff

John McCain: A life in pictures

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John McCain led a storied life as a Navy pilot and war hero, United States senator and presidential candidate. Still bearing the scars of six years of captivity in North Vietnam — during which he refused an offer of early release while his fellow prisoners were still being held — he waged a courageous battle against the brain cancer that finally killed him at the age of 81. Here are some images from that life.

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Future Sen. John McCain as toddler, sits on sofa with sister Sandy in a reproduction of a family photo, circa 1938. (Photo: Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Future Senator John S. McCain III (C) as a young boy with his grandfather Vice Admiral John S. McCain Sr. (L) and father Commander (later admiral) John S. McCain Jr. in a family photo from the 1940s. (Photo: Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Portrait of John Sidney McCain III. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)

John McCain (bottom right) poses with his U.S. Navy squadron in 1965. (Photo: National Archives/Handout via Reuters)

Lt. Cmdr. John McCain (C) is rescued from Hanoi’s Truc Bach lake by Hanoi residents after his Navy warplane was shot down on Oct. 26, 1967. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

John McCain after his capture, treated in a Hanoi hospital. (Photo: AP)

McCain as a POW in the hospital. (Photo: CBS/AP)

McCain after his release in 1973, escorted by Lt. Cmdr. Jay Coupe Jr. (Photo: Horst Faas/AP)

Former California Governor Ronald Reagan, center, actor Michael Landon, second from right, and the governor’s wife Nancy, third from left, greet former POWs during a reunion party in Los Angeles May 28 1978. At left, U.S. Navy Capt., Howard Ruttledge and his wife, Phyllis. At right is U.S. Navy Commander John McCain. (Photo: Brich/AP)

Vice President George H.W. Bush (R), re-enacting Senate swearing in with Sen. John S. McCain and his family. (Photo: Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate POW/MIA Committee, left, with McCain, a former POW, before a hearing of the committee in 1992. (Photo: John Duricka/AP)

Press secretary Nancy Ives, legislative director Ann Sauer and John Raidt, the Commerce Committee staff director for the majority, brief Sen. John McCain after he arrived in the early afternoon from a trip to Hawaii to celebrate his 18th wedding anniversary with his wife, Cindy, and to address the Hawaii GOP on May 18, 1998. (Photo: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Sen. Edward Kennedy jokingly holds the Profile in Courage award lantern as if he intends to keep it, as co-winner, Senator John McCain looks on during ceremonies at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass., on May 24, 1999. In back row are their spouses, Victoria Kennedy, left, and Cindy McCain. (Photo: Elise Amendola/AP)

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain addresses a campaign rally, Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999, in downtown Tempe, Ariz. (Photo: Mike Fiala/AP)

Presidential candidate John McCain with wife Cindy in their home in Phoenix, Arizona with their children. The oldest daughter is Meghan, their adopted daughter is Bridgette and their two sons Jack and Jimmy, October 14, 1999. (Photo: Karin Cooper/Hulton Archive via Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain on “The Straight Talk Express,” Jan. 7, 2000 in Columbia, S.C. (Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

Presidential candidate John McCain (second from right) with his family and members of his campaign team, including his wife Cindy McCain (L) and political advisor Mike Murphy (second from left), after winning the state primary, Feb. 1, 2000 in N.H. (Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain and his wife Cindy at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Super Tuesday, March 8, 2000. (Photo: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Presidential candidate John McCain manning the barbecue at the McCain family ranch, March 9, 2000 near Sedona, Arizona. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

John McCain walks inside the Hoa Lo prison, nicknamed “The Hanoi Hilton” in Hanoi, Vietman on April 27, 2000 where McCain was kept as a prisoner of war from October 1967 until March 1973. McCain was visiting as Vietnam marked the 25th anniversary of the end of the war. (Photo: David Guttenfelder/AP)

Recovering from skin cancer surgery, Sen. John McCain, right, talks with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2000, during the Senate Commerce Committee on the Firestone tire recall. (Photo: Dennis Cook/AP)

Sen. John McCain kicks back in his chair and places a phone call while working in his Capitol Hill office in Washington during the Senate debate on the McCain-Finegold campaign finance reform bill in 2001. McCain tackled the system of campaign financing with like-minded Democrats, an issue which split him from Republican leaders. (Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP)

Sen. John McCain shakes hands with Army Corps of Engineers structural engineer Fred Young far right, near the break of the 17th Street canal levee in the Lakeview area of New Orleans on Friday, March 10, 2006. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP)

Sen. John McCain reacts as former Solicitor General Ted Olson, not shown, mentions some Democratic leaders during his introduction at the Federalist Society Convention in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, speak about Iraq during a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, in Washington. (Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Sen. John McCain steps off his campaign bus after arriving at the Iowa Statehouse before speaking to Iowa legislators in Des Moines, Iowa on March 15, 2007. (Photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Senator John McCain catches a nap on a private jet as he leaves Dulles International Airport in Virginia Monday afternoon, April 23, 2007, en route to a series of fund raisers in Connecticut, while his legislative assistant, Joe Donoghue, looks over some paperwork. (Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP)

Presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain has a picture taken with a supporter before getting back onto his campaign bus after a McCain 2008 rally in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday evening, April 25, 2007. McCain offically announced his candidacy for president during a campaign rally in Portsmouth. (Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP)

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., holds up a climate change awareness poster as he speaks at a campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H., Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. (Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP)

Republican presidential hopefuls former Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain and former Gov. Mike Huckabee take part in a Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Photo: Alex Brandon/AP)

Cindy McCain, right, wife of Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain share a light moment with a cheetah hand puppet as they ride the “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus to a polling station on the day of South Carolina’s Republican presidential primary in Charleston, S.C. during the 2008 campaign. (Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP)

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is surrounded by staff and supporters at they monitor the Super Tuesday election returns at his home in Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday evening, Feb. 5, 2008. From left are: advisor Mark McKinnon, campaign CEO Rick Davis, sitting, McCain, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC., Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-CT., and Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. (Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP)

Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., looks on as he speaks at a news conference in Toledo, Ohio. Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008. (Photo: Gerald Herber/AP)

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. reads over his election night speech in his hotel suite in Dallas, Tuesday, March 4, 2008. (Photo: Stephan Savoia/AP)

Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his wife Cindy greet supporters at his primary election watch party in Dallas, Tuesday, March 4, 2008. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)

President Bush and Republican nominee-in-waiting, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. walk down the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 5, 2008, after speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden where the president announced his endorsement of McCain. (Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP)

Senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain, center, is seen arriving for a visit in Sderot, southern Israel, Wednesday, March 19, 2008. Touring the war-battered town of Sderot, McCain said he understands Israel’s tough response to Palestinian rocket fire, adding that there is no point in negotiating with the Gaza Strip’s Islamic Hamas regime. (Photo: Uriel Sinai, Pool/AP)

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain smiles as he speaks to reporters aboard his campaign plane en route from Jackson, Miss., to Washington, Monday, March 31, 2008. (Photo:Mary Altaffer/AP)

Republican presidential candidate John McCain acknowledges the crowed as he goes on stage at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008. (Photo: Paul Sancya/AP)

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, left, and his vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, stand on stage as Cindy McCain, center, introduces Palin at a rally at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Va., Monday, Oct. 13, 2008. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)