A longtime friend and former driver of Sen. John McCain described the late senator on "Fox & Friends" as a hero.

McCain passed away Saturday night at the age of 81 after a year-long battle with brain cancer.

John Kaites was a driver for the senator during his 20s, and said McCain was "open, caring, hardworking and an intentional listener."

"The thing about John McCain is that he was amazingly interested in the people around him," said Kaites, a former Arizona state legislator.


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McCain was diagnosed last July with a brain tumor following a procedure earlier in the year to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

His family released a statement on Friday saying the senator would discontinue medical treatment for his cancer.

"He was there to listen and to care about what you had to say," Kaites said Sunday.

He added that McCain was deeply devoted to his family.

Kaites also joked about how McCain would never sit in the backseat of his car, and would instead sit up front and offer driving tips.

McCain was a Vietnam War veteran who survived five years as a prisoner of war. He went on to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2008.

"He's an American hero to all of us," Kaites said. "He's just a wonderful, wonderful hero."


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