ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Arizona Sen. John McCain is praising former Naval Academy Superintendent Charles Larson, who died over the weekend, as a great man.

McCain, who graduated in the same class as Larson at the academy in 1958, said in a statement Sunday that it has been a privilege and an honor to serve in Larson’s shadow, both as a young man and an old one.

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The Capital of Annapolis  reported that Larson died Saturday at his home in Annapolis, Maryland. He was 77. Cmdr. Wes Huey, Larson’s son-in-law, confirmed Larson’s death to the newspaper. Huey says his death was due to pneumonia stemming from a two-year battle with leukemia.

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Larson served as the academy’s superintendent twice, first from 1983 to 1986 and again from 1994 to 1998.

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