Senator John McCain's remarkable record of leadership embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. The son and grandson of distinguished Navy Admirals, Senator McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, and served as a Naval aviator for 22 years, including in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
On October 26, 1967, during Senator McCain's 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam, a missile struck his plane and forced him to eject, knocking him unconscious and breaking both his arms and his leg.
Senator McCain was taken as a prisoner of war into the now-infamous "Hanoi Hilton," where he was denied needed medical treatment and subjected to years of torture by the North Vietnamese. He spent much of his time as a prisoner of war in solitary confinement, aided by his faith and the friendships of his fellow POWs.
When he was finally released and able to return home years later, Senator McCain continued his service by regaining his naval flight status.
His last Navy duty assignment was to serve as the naval liaison to the United States Senate. He retired from the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Senator McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982 and elected to the United States Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party's nominee for president in the 2008 election.
Over the course of his career, Senator McCain served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and most recently, Armed Services.
Senator McCain is survived by his wife, Cindy,
seven children and five grandchildren.
He was laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.
Washington, D.C. Public Procession
September 1, 2018
United States Capitol to
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
U.S. Senator John Sidney McCain III was born on August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone to Lieutenant John S. "Jack" McCain Jr. and Roberta Wright McCain. The son and grandson of four star admirals, he was raised in the navy and in a tradition of military service that began before the American Revolution.
His grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., called "Sid" or "Slew," was the first of the family to attend the United States Naval Academy, and the first to become a naval aviator, earning his wings at the age of fifty. As a passed midshipman, he served in the Philippines on a gunboat skippered by Chester Nimitz, and sailed home to America on the flagship of Teddy Roosevelt's "Great White Fleet." The Senator's colorful great uncle, Brigadier General "Wild Bill" McCain was a West Point graduate, and served under General Pershing in Mexico. Another West Point graduate, General Henry Pinkney McCain, fought in the Battle of Manila, was adjutant general of the Army and established the selective service during World War One. Various McCains served in the armies of the Confederacy during the Civil War, one branch of the family having settled in the mid-19th Century on a plantation in Carrol County, Mississippi. An ancestor served on General Washington's staff, and Washington himself is the Senator's cousin many times removed.
The Senator was the second of Jack and Roberta McCain's three children, arriving after his older sister, Sandy, and before his younger brother, Joe. His early life was nomadic as the family accompanied his father to various duty stations.
Senator John McCain's remarkable record of leadership embody his lifetime commitment to service. In celebration of Senator McCain's service to others, please consider learning more about and supporting these two causes which were of critical importance to Senator McCain:
Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.
I was in the far northern reaches of Canada on a wilderness river when Senator John McCain died. We got to our endpoint—Nahanni Butte—where there was internet connection, and I learned that he passed away a few days earlier. It was not a surprise, obviously. Friends had been keeping me posted about his struggles and diminished strength through the summer. Still, it was a very sad day when I heard the news.
Tributes at the U.S. Naval Academy Honoring Senator John McCain today by General David H. Petraeus and Jack McCain.
Through a lifetime commitment to service, John McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled. People from every corner of the world have shared their memories and thoughts about Senator McCain and we invite you to read some of the scrolling messages below. Please share your own memories below.
I first would like to say how sorry I am for his devoted family... my prayers will be with you during such a difficult time ... may your memories comfort you.. I was at a parade in Florence, SC my son’s high school JrROTC did the Color Guard for the parade .. I was proudly watching my son and all the sudden there was Mr McCain in the parade... he was running for president at that time ... I said Oh my there is John McCain and he looked heard me and looked over and waved ... meant a lot that he would take his busy time to visit a small town parade and participate... he touched us all in many ways ...he was a brave blessing to our country! Rest In Peace to this tireless soldier !! Peace to his family!!!
-- Susan, Georgia
I will always be reminded of John McCain, because of his daughter Megan who will shine in the shadow of her father.... is a remarkable intellect, and is able to articulate so clearly the attributes that make a legend in US history. I am hoping she will rise up, and follow in her fathers footsteps.
-- Karen, California
Always was a servant to this great nation and its people. God rest your soul.
-- Timothy, California
Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear husband, father, warrior and true patriot. We are fortunate to follow in his footsteps, with the passion, grace and integrity that he evinced every day. Take what comfort you can knowing we will honour his memory by striving for the highest standards of conduct and service to that which is larger than ourselves.
-- Michaela, Canada
God holds a special place for people like Senator McCain. His service has always been an inspiration to my undying love for our Country. Unfortunately all warriors must pass but his time here made an incredible difference. God Bless John McCain and God Bless these United States of America
-- David, Arizona
A remarkable patriot. Will miss his common sense. Prayers to the family.
-- Diane, Arizona
Thank You so Very Much. Bryan Brinegar
-- Bryan, California
I feel the loss of you, Senator McCain. I mourn you no longer being here and I know how special you were. I wish you could have stayed.
-- Meredith, Alaska
John McCain, thank you sir.
-- Al, Washington
I never had the privilege of meeting Senator McCain though I have long admired his dedicated service to our country through military and public service. Thank you for your service! Country First Godspeed John McCain Were gonna miss ya!
-- Ray, Arizona
Mission Accomplished. Rest in Peace.
-- greg, Minnesota
John, you are a man of integrity and a man with true character. You will be missed and forever remembered. Thank you for your service to this great nation. You are a war hero and a real statesman.
-- Steve, Virginia
As an immigrant, I am proud of all your legacy, we will miss you Senator Mc. Cain for his brave and resilient personality. The world needs more heroes like you. God bless all your family.
-- Ismar, Texas
Every one Loved John
-- Floyd, Arizona
what a great vietnam vet he was a american hero may he R.I.P.
-- Joseph, New York
John McCain was my hero and role model, I served 9 1/2 years in the Submarine Force and 22 yrs. in the Texas Legislature... I modeled my legislative career after him including my engagements with the press.. I was a better officer and legislator because of John McCain. Rest In Peace Steve Ogden ‘73 Non Sibi
-- Steve, Texas
Admiration for a life well lived, by a refugee from Vietnam, still in-exile after 43 years.
-- TRINH, Maryland
The world has lost a great man. Thank you so much, Senator McCain. You have always been an inspiration. You would have been an amazing POTUS and a beacon for the entire free world. You have always been my hidden president. I salute you!
-- Andre, Germany
I met Senator McCain during his 2008 Presidential run, One of the highlights of my life. Unfortunately he lost, but I was struck by his display of character when defending President Obama as a good family man when a constituent expressed that she did not trust him. That’s what I will remember most about him. His character…
-- Robert, New Jersey
We enjoyed his humor in Politics
-- Gary, Texas
As I sit and listen to the life of Senator John McCain, I knew about his time as captured solider, his friendship with Senator Edward Kennedy. So much can be said about his work as Senator to our nation.I respected him because he put country before party. He ran for President twice and both the men that he ran against both President's Bush and Obama will speak at his funeral service. So to honor his life we all should try to bring back kindness in our lives. To speak the truth, own to our errors and poor judgement. Stop with calling the truth lies, to stop name calling,to respect the press. Not saying this is fake etc. Will everything be perfect in our country no. But take this time to reflect on TRUE patriots of America. That was Senator John McCain. My prayers to his family and Friends
-- tracey, Pennsylvania
My memories of the Senator involve being introduced by LtCol Orson Swindle, USMC, POW, his and my friend. Will not write long, I admired the Senator for all the reasons others have said, but most of all because HE was a real patriot , and we as a strong Nati0n, in his image, will prevail.
-- Col Bob, Maine
I had the opportunity to see Senator Mc Cain on a Southwest flight arriving in Baltimore. When we got off the plane I was able to run and follow him and speak to him. He was very gracious and thanked me! I have followed his career over many years. Please accept my condolences. He will be sorely missed!
-- Priscilla, Massachusetts
A honest man, a fair human, thank you.
-- Uwe, Germany
I will always remember Sen. John McCain's passion to always do what he felt was right for Americans everywhere. John McCain fought for and risked his life for this nation, and I will never forget that. I have no doubt that the Senator will be welcomed into Heaven and will be greeted with open arms.
-- Aidan, Pennsylvania
My warmest condolences to the McCain family. John has been an inspiration to me and my family. Any man who spent over five years at the Hanoi Hilton and provided leadership in the Senate is a true American hero. John will never be forgotten. His memory will live on. John McCain is my hero. God bless John and family.
-- Michael, New York
Thank you for all you've done for the country and the people, Senator. You have led a remarkable life indeed. I shall miss you, sir. Goodbye for now.
-- Francis, California
Mi mas sincera condolencia a la familia y a todos sus seres queridos, se ha perdido una grande persona y un ser humano extraordinario para la historia de EEUU . estara en mi memoria y en la de todos los americanos. un ciudadano español. gracias por poder expresar mis sentimientos.
-- jose javier, Spain
As a daughter of a career Army Officer who served in Vietnam in 1969-1970 I knew the story of Senator McCain. Through the years I always talked to my Father about Senator McCain. My Father passed away at 94 on 10-17-17 and this October will be interred at Arlington. I cried when I heard the Senator passed away. Truly reading Meghan’s tribute reminded me how strong her Father was and though our Fathers never met they shared love of family and country.
-- Denise, Georgia
I have long been an admirer of Senator McCain and very much wanted to see him become our president. I'm deeply grateful for his service to our country as a soldier, a statesman and a role model. To the McCain family, I extend my heartfelt sympathy on your great loss...and ours.
-- Anne, Wisconsin
The last American hero. Honest, Brave, and Caring. He returned with Honor, and left with Honor.
-- Gregory, Michigan
He did a great job and will be missed. My prayers and thoughts for the McCain family.
-- Maria, Delaware
Thank you, senator, for a life full of courage, integrity, and honor. You made me proud to be an American. My deepest sympathies to Mrs. McCain and the entire McCain family.
-- Brian, Pennsylvania
My heart and prayers are with the McCain family. I am so "thankful" for his service to our country and his family. May God bless and comfort you all. What a great man and leader.
-- jan, Arizona
From on Veteran to another Veteran, My deep condolences to the McCain’s family. My respect and salute to a Veteran.
-- Kevin, Virginia
Hello, I am writing from the UK and wish to offer sincere condolences to Senator McCain's family, friends,and supporters.Though politically at odds I have always been inspired by his truest of all courage,integrity and dignity and sharp political intellect. From across the pond it has sometimes been difficult as an outside observer,Senator McCain always seemed a beacon of principal and incredible courage.Many people across the world know what a great American hero he was,in my humble opinion maybe one of the best Presidents you never had. Again sincere condolences,I am saddened today. P.
-- Paul, United Kingdom
True Hero of or times.
-- SANJEEV, India
May all Americans strive to follow Senator McCain's extraordinary example of honor, integrity, true patriotism, and public service. My deepest sympathies to the McCain family.
-- Danielle, Virginia
The first time I met John and Cindy McCain was in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hills Hilton at a dinner and a reception on that fateful primary night during the 1999-2000 campaign. All I can remember was that genuine smile and his heart filled thanks for our support. Our conversation were spurred by our hopes to create a middle ground that the Republic Party could then build on. Nonetheless, his fight to create bi-partisan unity in the Senate led to another run for the White House. Serving on his Small Business council in Ohio in 2008 I saw the spark for change again and once again felt his desire for a unified party. I was so proud to help John McCain in both California and Ohio. His selflesness and his heart will be missed but we shall carry on his fight for a unified America. God bless
-- Pierre, Ohio
I never had the honor of meeting John and shaking his hand personally, but did work as a volunteer lobbying for him from my Michigan home in several elections, Senatorial and Presidential. John was a shining example of clear-sighted ideals, a paragon of patriotism in our government, and showed what it meant to be a "Man of the People". Indeed, he taught by example even in adversity's face the meaning of "being a man". He understood the importance of a strong military and the strength of our great Constitution. I treasure a personal note of thanks he once sent for my lobbying efforts. Truly, "The Man Who Should Be King" (correction: President). Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt, whom he honorably stands shoulder to shoulder with, would be proud. As are all true Americans, and heavy-hearted, as am I. A righteous, honorable man! May God rest his soul!
-- Jim, Michigan
Anyone who went thru as a prisoner as he did deserves the highest honor possible I don't think there could be many of us who could have endured that.
-- Nicholas, Florida
Sir, It has been a pleasure to endure your tenacity as you elevated your voice on the Senate floor. As a Veteran I know for certain that you were a leader! Leaders lead, others follow!! I salute you...AIRBORNE! RIP
-- Elgin, Maryland
I campaigned for Senator McCain when he ran for President. I hold him in the highest esteem and pray for his family.
-- Bettie, Texas
I was fortunate to meet and to learn from John McCain; but here, I will share a story about a book autograph. I took my young daughter and a copy of Faith of My Fathers to a Tucson event. In the backyard of the private residence, I noticed that at least 50 people had also brought the book. I returned to the front to ambush him. He arrived, promptly signed his book, and was sincerely impressed upon hearing it would be a gift for my father. As media began to record the event, I noticed that my daughter had found a porch swing and was testing the height limits on it. She ignored me and continued to play. So somewhere, there is a video and photographic record of me watching Senator McCain sign his book, and of my daughter ignoring both of us on a swing in the background.
-- Gerald, Arizona
Senator John S. McCain was one of the most inspirational characters of my lifetime. I was an US Army Spec. 4 in Vietnam from 1969 -1970 and witnessed John's return home on the television. I remember being so impressed with his service and the enormous difficulty attached to his captivity. I tell and have told my three children of his incredible courage, service, dedication and honor to this great country. As a politician he represented action, problem solving, respect for colleagues on both sides and an affection for country and respect for its people unrivaled by other members of Congress. He will be sorely missed and our great institutions have lost a great advocate. God Bless John S. McCain and Cindy and his entire family. Please accept the appreciation of a grateful nation.
-- Michael J, New York
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson In every sense, we can say that Senator John McCain succeeded.
-- Anthony, Georgia
Should there be a Heaven, Senator McCain will not only be there but will be working hard for it's many angels. I have no words to match the love and grief being expressed now for Senator McCain, but I do want to join in with such remembrances. He is a man of my generation. He represents to me the best the Republican party has to offer. I hope he will be a role model for future Republicans. My love to his family who must miss him but did have his love and devotion for many years.
-- Francia, California
Thank you for your years of service to the country, not only in the military but in the senate. You are a true American hero and you will be missed. Rest in peace, sir.
-- Melanie, Colorado
Election 2008 inspired my son ( 13 year old at the time ) to be involved in politics. Together with me, we attended gatherings in support of John McCain. We believed that man of his moral standing was the ideal candidate for the presidency. Although, he didn't win, he continued to served the country in an exemplary manner. So very sorry for your loss. May the sweet memories be of solace at this painful time.
-- Nora, New Jersey
My Deepest Sympathy to the family..He was truly a protector of our Freedom..He is now a Heavenly Angel ..
-- RoseAnn, Pennsylvania
We are truly grateful for the outpouring of support and comfort our family has received during this time of
great loss. Your letters and messages remind us of the incredible impact John's life has had on so many people
from Arizona, across the country, and around the world. John lived every day with vigor, vitality, and an
insatiable desire to serve the country he deeply loved. While we've lost a central part of our family and an
irreplaceable American leader, we can all honor John's life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving
this world a better place for generations to come.
-- The McCain Family