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 met the Senator in 2007 during the NH Primary. He was both a gentleman and a great teacher. He was very kind and made sure I was comfortable at every campaign event, while knowing I was a Democrat. I will never forget the time I spent with the Senator. It was both an honor and a privilege to meet him. He inspired me then, and still inspires me to work in public service, as I currently do in the House of Representatives. I don’t feel like he’s gone. Because the Senator was such a force his spirit will be with us forever, however I miss him already. I hope in some way I can accomplish just a fraction of what he has done for this Country. I love this Country, and I will continue to serve it in the best way I can. #RIPMCCAIN
-- Angela, Ohio
I sorry for you lose
-- clara, North Carolina
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of John McCain.
-- Holly, Connecticut
I've long admired and respected Sen. McCain for his strength, leadership and love of America. He dedicated his whole life to serving our country, striving to make it better and stronger, and becoming a mentor to many.
-- Susan, Texas
he put his fellow soldiers before himself. He put the country before himself. That's what a hero is. John McCain is a true hero.
-- Fred, Florida
Proud to have served with John, not only in the Navy, but in the cells of North Vietnam prisons. We traveled together all the way from the jet training squadron (John an instructor - I a student) in Meridian, MS, through our time in prison and eventually time together in the Pentagon. An adventuresome life, but as we both agree, a life of unbelievable blessings. Fair winds my friend and my God Bless you and God Bless America.
-- Capt. William (Bill), Washington
I just wish we had 2008 to do over again!!! John McCain was a great man. I voted was for him in both 2000 and 2008.
-- Joseph, Illinois
We were Naval Academy classmates. He was my naval and American hero.
-- Thomas, Hawaii
John was one of the good guys. I'm not American & not a fan of the Republicans. But John was a man to look up to, whatever your politics. You will be missed. RIP
-- John, United Kingdom
Live on Senator. I will always remember the kind words you shared with the Public at the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy.
-- Fred, Florida
The year Regan & Bush ran on the Republican ticket, there was a rally in downtown Phoenix. I attended with my mother and sister. It was there that Senator McCain was shaking hands in the crowd. My hand was one of the hands he shook. I grew up in Phoenix and am now 59. So this is a long-time memory for me. I respect and appreciate the work that Senator McCain did for our country and his service in the military to fight for my freedom. My hope is there will be many people to come who will have the ability to fight for the rights of all Americans and be able to work across the “aisle “ with each other for the unified goal of making laws that support, protect and grow the country for us and our children. May his memory be a blessing.
-- Joanne, Arizona
John McCain loved this country and I'm proud of how he's served this wonderful united states of america. He will always be remembered. It'll always be an honor to remember a wonderful person. Thank you and may god have mercy on your soul.
-- Thomas, New York
I have always admired his courage. I enjoyed listening to him speak and reading his life story. I love how he addressed the American people “My Friend(s)”. I can still hear his voice in my head, “county first”. I am an immigrant and I know America is exceptional because of people like John McCain.
-- Sueet, Maryland
A man of principle, honesty and courage. I fear for our country without him in it.
-- Mary, New York
Greatest hero of our time. Thank you for the examples you have set.
-- Lien, Maryland
Thank you for giving our children an example of what an American hero is. May your legacy inspire many to lead.
-- Leigh, North Carolina
I am a Texas resident, but that Didn’t keep me from Donating to Mr McCain re- election campaign.To me he was a true Republican. Admire his tenacity, and courage . True warrior. He will be missed by a lot of people. My condolences to all the Mc Cain family. May his Soul Rest In Peace.
-- Gustavo, Texas
John McCain is one of the greatest men of my time. His honor, devotion and integrity was truly inspiring. I cried when I learned of his passing. I have not ever experienced such sadness for a person I have never met. I will miss John McCain. He was a true American hero.
-- Leitica, California
I voted for John Mc Cain for President. His words " A steady hand at the tiller " propelled me forward. Yes Sir.
-- Oscar, Texas
John was a true hero. a man that loved his country and his God. Not all men could have endured what he went through. A man that could disagree without being disagreeable. John now that your life here on earth is over. May your name in Gold be written in the autograph of God God Bless you, your lovely wife and your family. May he continue to Bless America the country we all love
-- Richard A., Arizona
I am a democrat. Senator McCain was one conservative that I listened to. His love and desire for a better country shined through his words and deeds. Thank you Senator you will always have my respect
-- Gene, Washington
I am a proud Canadian who has always supported,admired and respected John Mc Cain. I extend my deepest sympathy to his dear and loving family.
-- Sharon, Canada
Always was a servant to this great nation and its people. God rest your soul.
-- Timothy, California
I am unknown to John, but he is highly regarded by me and many people in Australia, a fine person who many could emulate if they wanted to be a fine person. You have been and continue to be an inspiring person to me and many others. RIP Sir.
-- Paul, Australia
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
I have never known Mr McCain personally. My experience of who he was came only from news reports over the years. What I want to say is he was a rare human being and a noble soul. We, as a People, had a unique privilege to witness and to learn from him how to conduct our human relations with kindness, forgiveness, and cooperation. He was a true hero. He will be missed.
-- Ewa, Wisconsin
Praying for the family of John McCain at this time of loss. I grew up inspired by his focus and dedication to serve the people of our country. His story is one that embellished the American dream, a true American Hero. His memory will be an example that will continue to inspire the people of this great country. God bless.
-- Tim, Georgia
A great role model who stayed true to his convictions despite enormous pressure from his own party. He will be missed.
-- Bill, Massachusetts
Senator McCain and the Governor were speaking at the VA National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona for Memorial Day services. He spoke of ISIS. Was America first early on. Thank you for your service and sacrifice to this great nation.
-- Joseph, 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
My wife once help serve soup in your house for Brophy. The next time we met you and i brought it up. The Senator said you can serve soup any time you want for us. As a defense exec i met him many times and was always remarked about his honesty We will all miss him. By the way my son interned for the senator
-- Jerry, Arizona
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
Senator John McCain rest in peace you are truly missed God bless and may he cradle you in his arms
-- Kevin Michael, Arizona
Thank you Senator for your dedication to this nation. As a Ukrainian American I will also forever remember your support for Ukraine. RIP
-- Oksana, Washington
Much loved, much respected, very much missed - God speed Senator McCain
-- Loretta, Pennsylvania
Godspeed Senator McCain.
-- Stanley, Maryland
John McCain and I flew, on the A4 Skyhawk , from NAS Cecil Field, Florida to KINGSVILLE, TEXAS; he was speaking to future Navy pilots. The Sky Hawk was the type of airplane he flew in the Navy; I will never forget his smile after making a perfect landing back at Cecil Field. We enjoyed our flight and enjoyed the hoagie in Texas before we flew back to Florida. Then Itold him, "You will be making Admal and given a Carrier to command." To my surprise, I saw him on TV as Senetore of Arizona. He answered. "Alfredo, I am going into politics" When I found out he was a Senetor, I said " when he says he will do something; he does it. me he was going into polytecs. WHERE he was giving a conference. was giving at Kingsville Texas. We flew out of NAVAL AIR STATION CECIL, FL.
-- Alfredo, Florida
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
Dear Family, I will always remember the wonderful eulogy delivered at the funeral of my beloved cousin, Col Bud Day. The association of these two heros was remarkable on earth and now eternal in heaven. Now they are both flying with the angels . May God be with and comfort you in your sorrow
-- Geraldine, Iowa
Thanks You John for your service. Rest assured you will be missed. My condolences to your family.
-- Jeff, Missouri
My heart goes out to the family thanks for your service senator McCain our thoughts and prayers gone but never forgotten Rest In Peace.
-- Franklyn, Arizona
Great, great man!! He had steel backbone and and was a model of principled leadership. Service to God and country before self. He was from the fabric all leaders should aspire to be made of.
-- MATTHEW, Virginia
I want to send my deepest sympathy to the family of John McCain. Thank you Mr. McCain for your service to this country. Rest In Peace.
-- Debbie, Delaware
In 1982 John McCain sat down with myself and so to be wife Karen and talked to us at Temple Beth Israel. We occasionally cross ed paths again at different sporting events in the Valley of the Sun. I did volunteer work with his son Andrew at different Fiesta Bowl Events. Hopefully John McCain Name with be on different buildings throughout Arizona. Mr. McCain helped my son Nathan play football in the Down Under Bowl game in Australia in 2009. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ?? STATE OF ARIZONA ??.
-- MICHAEL, Arizona
Senator John McCain was a true American Hero. His Service in Vietnam and in the Senate can be compared to none. He inspired hope and fought for what is right in so many ways. Senator McCain will be truly missed so very much. Much love & sympathy to his family in the loss of this great man.
-- Molly, Texas
You will always be remembered as a person for the people. Thank you
-- DOROTHY, Pennsylvania
please accept my condolence
-- george, New York
I am saddened to hear of Sen McCain's passing. He was truly one of the Last Lions in Politics. We will miss him greatly. Soar with The Eagles, Senator!
-- Leslie, Canada
I May be a Democrat, But John McCain may have been a Republican, He Was for All People in this Country. That is what made this man, A Great Human Being. Deepest Sympathy To his Family at this Time. RIP Mr. McCain, and God be with his Family.
-- Robert, Nevada
Condolences to the McCain family - Sen. McCain was the best of the best, somebody with an unbreakable spirit. We need more like you, lots more.
-- Tina, California
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