It was a family tradition.
The family of the six-term USA senator announced on Friday that he had made a decision to end treatment in his battle against brain cancer, which he had fought against for over a year.
On Oct. 26, 1967, his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down during a bombing run over Hanoi.
McCain ejected, and parachuted into a small lake in the center of town, where he was almost lynched by a furious mob.
McCain spent more than 3 decades in the Senate, looming large in debates over war and peace and the moral direction of the nation. He was released in 1973.
"I hope I don't become a snob", McCain said after winning a seat in the upper chamber.
He began life in 1936 at a US naval base located next to the Panama Canal; the grandson of a four-star US Navy admiral and the son of a naval officer, who would also become an admiral.
He saw little use for party discipline, an attitude reinforced by his past episodes of rebellion - as an unruly student at the US Naval Academy, or a hotheaded prisoner provoking his Vietnamese jailers.
Trump and McCain were at odds until the end.
The ticket failed to gain lasting traction in the face of an inspiring Obama campaign, especially following a financial crash in the fall of 2008 while George W. Bush was president.
Former president Bill Clinton said McCain "lived by his creed".
Pandya Picks Five, England Dismissed for 161
After joining his captain at the crease, Rahane first got into the damage-control mode and then took charge of Indian innings. Kohli averaged 60 in the first two Tests, yet not one of his team-mates managed to post a single score in excess of 33.
With the White House within reach, he made an instinctive - and deeply controversial - call.
McCain - with his vice-presidential nominee, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, by his side - concedes victory during his election night rally on November 4, 2008, in Phoenix, Arizona.
He frequently criticized other Trump administration policies, including the decision to prosecute all those who illegally crossed the border to enter the USA - a policy which resulted in children being separated from their parents at the border.
McCain repeatedly hammered Barack Obama for his expressed willingness to meet with Iran's leaders and later on led the charge against the 2015 deal spearheaded by Obama that swapped sanctions relief for a partial rollback of Iran's nuclear program.
McCain ran twice for president. But if McCain's memoirs are indeed rather shallow works of self-promotion, that's just an example of the politician's stock-in-trade.
But the snappy tone could turn to self-deprecation: "I don't think I'm a very smart guy", he once said. A patriot who fought everyday for American freedom and dignity.
From overseas, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said McCain's "lifetime of public service" was "an inspiration to millions", while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised him as "a great American patriot" whose "support for Israel never wavered". After all, he once referenced a Beach Boys tune when singing about whether to "bomb bomb bomb" Iran. His impact on America hasn't ended.
After the annexation of Crimea, Russia placed his name on a blacklist in retaliation for US-led sanctions.
In 2008, McCain fared far better.
Trump's election seemed to trample on the struggles and ideals of the veteran Republican, who quickly grew dismayed by the billionaire businessman's nationalism and protectionism, his flirtation with Putin and his seeming contempt for the dignity of the office of president.
The allusion to the medical deferment that saved a young Donald Trump from serving in that war could not have been clearer.
Since December, he never returned to the Senate as he underwent treatment in Arizona, where he kept a low profile, issuing written statements on major news developments but offering the public few glimpses of his condition. On Aug. 24, his family announced their patriarch was going to discontinue treatment for his cancer.