John McCain Died On Anniversary Of Ted Kennedy's Death Of The Same Disease

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) died Saturday, nine years to the day after Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) died of the same rare cancer.

Both men died from of glioblastomas, an extremely form of aggressive brain cancer. McCain was 81; Kennedy was 77.

McCain’s death was jolting for those who admired both men.

Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, honored McCain on Saturday and hailed the Vietnam veteran as an “uncompromising patriot and a man of immeasurable courage.”

Getting to know McCain was “one of the great privileges of my life, and I know my late husband, Ted, felt the same way,” she said, adding that McCain’s example “summons us, in his memory, to live up to what is best in ourselves and to honor what is best in others.”

Victoria Kennedy also honored the differences between the men, noting that McCain was pleased when he successfully negotiated disagreements. He “declared from the floor of the Senate that the proudest and most satisfying moments of his career when he worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address our greatest challenges,” she wrote.

“Though he and Teddy had different political philosophies and were from different political parties, they both loved this country and loved each other,” she said.

Others also commented on the sad coincidence, including San Francisco-based activist Barbara Townsend.

Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney from the Southern District of New York, noted that “history does rhyme.”

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