Former Vietnam War POW, presidential hopeful and Senator of Arizona John McCain has passed away at 81. The political maverick has survived plane crashes and several fights against skin cancer even a highly contentious time within his own party, spent the last few months out of the public eye spending time with family and friends.

In a memoir published in May, McCain wrote that he hated to leave the world, but had no complaints.

“It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make peace,” McCain wrote. “I’ve lived very well and I’ve been deprived of all comforts. I’ve been as lonely as a person can be and I’ve enjoyed the company of heroes. I’ve suffered the deepest despair and experienced the highest exultation.

“I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.”