McCain's Death Comes 9 Years to the Day After Same Cancer Killed Ted Kennedy

John McCain and Ted Kennedy
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Americans are mourning the loss of war hero turned political maverick John McCain, whose death came on the anniversary of that of another beloved U.S. senator.

Saturday marked nine years to the very day since Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy died at the age of 77.

Remarkably, Kennedy succumbed to the very same brain cancer that killed McCain.

Glioblastoma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that grows quickly and is difficult to treat.

It is also quite deadly. Around half of those with glioblastoma die within 15 months of their diagnosis.

Kennedy was diagnosed in May 2008 after collapsing at his home.

Like McCain, he underwent immediate surgery followed by radiation treatment and chemotherapy. 

Kennedy died in August the following year.

With McCain's death on Saturday, reports re-emerged of the heartfelt reaction the Arizona Republican had to the death of his friend and colleague from the other side of the aisle. 

“As soon as we stopped our speech making, he’d come over and put his arm around you and," McCain recalled of Kennedy. "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."

Nine years later, McCain has been honored after his passing with similarly glowing praise from political rivals.

Former President Barack Obama, who bested McCain in the 2012 general election, was among the chorus of voices to issue statements after the 81-year-old former prisoner of war lost his final battle. 

"Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did," Obama's statement read, in part. "But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John's best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt."

George W. Bush, who beat McCain to become the 2000 Republican presidential nominee, also made a public statement. 

"Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended," Bush wrote. "Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled."

Final details of the service were not released as of Sunday morning. However, McCain stated in a 2017 interview with "60 Minutes" that he'd like his service to be held at the Naval Academy. 

It has been confirmed that former Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a separate service to be held in McCain's home state of Arizona, where McCain had served as US Senator since 1987.

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