Former Democratic senator from California, John V. Tunney, died of prostate cancer aged 83 at his Los Angeles home Friday, his brother Jay Tunney said in a statement to the press.

Tunney is survived by his wife, Kathinka Osborne Tunney, sons Mark and Ted, daughters Arianne and Tara, stepchildren Cedric Osborne and Dariane Osborne Hunt, and grandsons John, Liam, and Andreas, ABC 7 reported. 

Here are a few facts about Tunney and his unrealized political aspirations:

Tunney was born on June 26, 1934, in New York City, to parents Polly Lauder Tunney, a socialite, and Gene Tunney, a 1920s heavyweight champion. He graduated from Yale University, Connecticut, and moved on to earn a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1964, Tunney worked as a  law professor and was an expert in semantics in California.

He was once the rising star in the Democratic Party. With his charismatic charm and progressive political ideals, Tunney was often compared to the Kennedy brothers at the time.

Tunney beat the 68-year-old Republican incumbent George Murphy to win the senatorial seat in 1970  and was one of the youngest politicians to do so in the era.

Tunney's victory margin in the California gubernatorial election in 1970 was bigger than that of former President Ronald Reagan.

Among his achievements as a senator was leading a successful bid to cut off funds for covert military operations by pro-American rebels in Angola, the New York Times reported.

However, the story of a 36-year-old politician going up against an experienced one and snatching victory appealed to director Michael Ritchie who worked on Tunney's campaign. He felt that it was a story fit for the silver screen and hence was born 1972 Robert Redford film "The Candidate."

In the film, the lead actor Bill McKay's character was based on Tunney’s life and political career. The film was a commercial and critical success. Jeremy Larner, the film's screenwriter, even took home an Academy Award for “The Candidate.”

However, Tunney’s success was short-lived as he lost to 70-year-old president of California State University S.I. Hayakawa, after just a single term in the Senate.

One of Tunney's biggest mistakes in his political career was supporting the Vietnam War in its initial phase and not denouncing it until it was too late. He also refused to endorse the boycotting of California grapes by striking farm workers, which many members of his party thought was a bad call on John’s part.

“When you get into public life, you’ve got to be prepared to take your knocks,” Tunney said after his defeat in 1976. Jay said that his brother wasn’t overly devastated by his loss. “He didn't like the temper of Washington," Jay said.

After his defeat, Tunney returned to Los Angeles and resumed his practice of law. He also actively undertook civic and cultural affairs.

He loved skiing, fly-fishing, biking, hiking, and traveling with his wife who was a Swedish Olympic skier.