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John Sidney McCain III 1936 - 2018

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.

Memorials and Services

There will be memorial events celebrating the life of Senator John Sidney McCain III in Arizona and Washington, D.C.
Please see below for more information:

The Story of John Sidney McCain III

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.

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Donate to a Charitable Cause

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:

The McCain Institute Foundation
The McCain Institute Foundation is a tax-exempt 501C3 charitable organization founded to support the work of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. Guided by values that have animated the career of Senator John McCain and the McCain family for generations, the McCain Institute for International Leadership is dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity. LEARN MORE AND LEND YOUR SUPPORT.

Translational Genomics Research Institute
When TGen’s founder, Arizona-born Dr. Jeffrey Trent, was the Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Senator McCain was instrumental in convincing him to return to Arizona and bring new knowledge with him, establishing TGen in an effort to turn breakthroughs in genetic research into medical advances. Today, TGen is poised to take that knowledge and transform brain cancer research in honor of Senator McCain. We invite you to join us in honoring Senator John McCain with the establishment of the John S. McCain III Endowed Chair in Brain Cancer Research. LEARN MORE ABOUT GLIOBLASTOMA AND LEND YOUR SUPPORT.

Statements and Tributes

Statement from The Office of Senator John 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.


Mourning the Departure of Senator John McCain

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

Tributes at the U.S. Naval Academy Honoring Senator John McCain today by General David H. Petraeus and Jack McCain.


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Remembering John 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.

The only politician I ever supported with my wallet. John brought honor to policy and politics and leadership by action and example. My best to his family. The United States has lost a giant with. Let his legacy of fierce independence be forever preserved. God bless his soul in the name of Jesus Christ. Oh... and of course, Fly Navy!

-- Sam, California

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

As former residents of Arizona we were always proud that John McCain represented our state. We remember Senator McCain taking time out of his very busy schedule to show his support of support Linkages (an organization promoting the employment of people with disabilities). John McCain was truly a man of action and not just lip-service. May his family find comfort in the expressions of gratitude and admiration so deeply felt by people all over the world.

-- Charles and Julia, Tennessee

and this the power family I m send though my senator McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled 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 johns 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 johns life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving this world a better place for generations to come the McCain family

-- ashley, Florida

What a great man! The definition of integrity is John McCain. For my trip to Vietnam, he gave me note signed by him to keep me safe. A true American hero, he is what our country always needed and always will. He will be missed! John, please guide us from above.

-- Pierre, Arizona

I was on the wrestling squad at Episcopal High School with John McCain, and I supported him financially and with a vote in both of his races for President. He was a bona fide American hero whom I admired greatly.

-- Robert, Virginia

We never met or saw him speak personally but always respected his service to our country. Thank you Senator John McCain.

-- Martin & Cheryl, Wisconsin

I remember him in Peterborough N.H. the night before the 2008 election.

-- Stephen, Massachusetts

Thank you for your service to our country, and for sharing your remarkable life with all Americans. Peace, and safe travels.

-- Greg, Wisconsin

Here is what I said to the US Senate Armed Services Committee at my confirmation hearing last November. "Senator McCain and other members of the SASC, it is an honor to be here. It is humbling to be considered for this position and I thank Secretary Mattis and the President for placing their trust and confidence in me. Senator McCain- as a young Air Force officer going through Aerospace Medicine Primary and SERE training in the early 1980’s, one of your fellow POW’s who spoke to our class mentioned your name as an exemplar of courage and integrity and I have always looked up to you." I meant every word. After I read this, Sen. McCain quietly said, "Thank you..."

-- Dean, California

what a great vietnam vet he was a american hero may he R.I.P.

-- Joseph, New York

I met the character of John McCain within the pages of his book, Faith of My Fathers, well-matched with his conduct as a man. It describes the ground of his action and the enduring worth of his cherished commitments. Whatever shortcomings each person exercises in life or fame which endures, it is the reason for it that all makes sense. Their works do follow them. Rest in Peace.

-- Herbert, California

He did a great job and will be missed. My prayers and thoughts for the McCain family.

-- Maria, Delaware

Clearly the loss of a fine and decent man ; our sympathy to his family , to his state and his great country. A hero indeed !

-- Al and Angela, Canada

While I often disagreed with his political choices, I always deeply respected him as a man of honor. Rest in peace, John McCain, you were my Senator.

-- Bonnie, Arizona

I voted for John for president! I too was a Vietnam veteran! I always looked to him as a leader! He voted his heart and beliefs! John put his country first!

-- Gary, Montana

Senator, I have been a long time supporter and friend to you as you run for office. I want to thank you for your service to our great nation. Our prayers are with your family. May you rest in peace.

-- Ty, Maryland

America is a better place because of Senator John McCain.

-- Our Family, Washington

God Blessed this nation with the gift of John McCain. He will be missed. Lets carry on with his honor.

-- Connie, Ohio

My thoughts and prayers are with his soul and his family. God Bless him and his family. We will miss his positive impact for ourUnited States.

-- Susan, Arizona

A true American. Your character will be missed. Thank you for your service to our Nation.

-- John, Hawaii

He gave me a glimpse of what a George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's Courage, Honor and devotion to the truth was like. They would have been proud to have known him as a friend.

-- Garrick, New York

My heart and prayers go out to McClain family we love you stay strong and remember what he stands for unity and love he will always be our hero

-- Shirley, South Carolina

I didn't know him. Sent some emails. I supported his presidential run. Truly sad to hear this recent news.

-- Fatbardh, New Jersey

Senator McCain will always be remembered by us as an American Hero and a man who served the American people his whole life. Thank you John McCain.

-- Mr. & Mrs. George, Arizona

John McCain for me was a man who I greatly respected. He fought for what he believed was right regardless of "how the party" felt about the issue. Integrity ran through and through John. His response to the lady at a political event "defending Obama" truly showed a man of grear integrity. I am proud to say that I had an opportunity to vote many times for John McCain. He will be missed by our country and the world. I thank the McCain family for sharing him with us.

-- Rev. Louie, Arizona

John McCain is a true hero! He will be missed by all. I don't know of anyone in America who has sacrificed so much for his country! Truly a special man. May America's politicians learn to serve their country half as well as Senator McCain! Thank you sir! Thank you for everything.

-- Toni, Texas

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

as a wife of a Marine jet pilot serving his tour in Vietnam , I was so afraid my husband could be shot down and taken as POW. We have a bracelet to this day framed on the wall in our company of a RIO of his f-4 phantom still listed as missing after all these years. after 121 missions Richard did come home but lost about 1/3 of his squadron. We saw Orson Swindle come off the plane in 73' whom rich had met in the Philippines on R&R and a fellow POW of Sen McCain and have followed Sen McCain's career. We send our sincere regards to the family and this time of our lives during the war will never be forgotten and those that served. jan & Rich Buckley

-- janet, California

Dear Family of Senator McCain: We are grateful for Senator McCain's life and for the support all of you gave him that enabled him to be the great Senate and international leader that he was. We share in your loss.

-- Shirley & Jim, Arizona

I was always pleased to see John McCain standing up for my beliefs. He made me proud to be an American. Thank you John McCain

-- Jo, Illinois

I was privileged to represent John in a few small legal matters back in the 1990’s. John retained me because our mutual friend, John Dowd, referred me. I remember feeling enormously proud to represent a man I so deeply admired. He was an easy client to please. His colleague Jon Kyl and I were law partners for twenty-six years before he went to the House of Representatives with John. And I had the rare pleasure of watching a football game or two with him at Sun Devil Stadium. While my interaction with him was infrequent, I immensely enjoyed his quick smile and a few small things we shared about my service in the USAF and his in the USN. Perhaps the most important reminder I have of him is the blurb he wrote for the back cover of my 2004 book about the famous Miranda v. Arizona case. I was an Independent voter when John first came to Arizona, and I voted for him every time. He was brave, good, and true. There are others, but very few in the U.S. Senate today.

-- Gary, Arizona

To a man that has held our flag high all of his life. God Bless and Keep you in his arms

-- James, Ohio

Senator McCain was a rare individual and a true American hero. He will be greatly missed. It was my honor to work on his Presidential campaign. My sincere condolences to his close friends and family.

-- Becky, Missouri

Mr. McCain, with your life story you leave behind. You make me proud to be from Arizona and an American. You will be greatly missed. May you Rest In Peace.

-- Maria, Arizona

Mr John Mc Cain is and will be my my hero along with President Regan for a long time I wanted to go to corn bill to meet him in person, but just like the Grand cayon I was hopping that he be there all ways, now he is gone and the only thing that I have is his legacy, thank you John and God bless you always, I really would like to come and shake-the hand of the my hero s wife God bless you Sandy

-- Sal, Arizona

John McCain was a man of honor and integrity....Lost arts.. How very sad for our great country. Condolences to his wonderful family.

-- Sylvia, North Carolina

Thank you for your service to our Country. God Bless you.

-- David, Virginia

John McCain, thank you sir.

-- Al, Washington

Senator McCain will be greatly missed. His service to our country was much appreciated. He led with an open, fair mind. He’s a true example for all of us in so many ways. May God bless and comfort your family.

-- Lisa, Oklahoma


-- HARVEY, Ohio

You will be so missed. The country loved you. Rest in peace.

-- Connie, Arizona

I have ALWAYS had a deep love and admiration for John McCain. My deepest sympathy and prayers for him and his family.

-- Frank, New York

To an American hero. Thank you for your service to our country. And to your love and devotion you had for it. A life lived truly well. Rest in peace knowing you left a footprint that will endure.

-- Barbara, Illinois

A true hero and patriot. We thank him for his service, love and courage for our Country. He was always there with sincere help when called upon. Our condolences go out to his family during this time. God bless him and may he Rest In Peace with Our Lord.

-- Sandra, Arizona

God bless you sir, John Mc Cain. I admire your leadership

-- Kees, Netherlands

We remember him,he was a great hero

-- Ramon, Florida

Senator McCain was a HERO and a great person. I never met him but, you do not have too to know that he was a good person. Rest is Peace Sir.

-- ALLAN, California

He was a good man that cared about American's !!!! Rest In Peace!!!!!

-- Nichelle, Tennessee

Senator John McCain admirably employed his abilities improving the state of Arizona and his country USA.

-- Mildred, New York

Thank You

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

If so inclined, flowers may be sent to your local VA Hospital. Thank you.