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 loved supporting him for President, my heart was broken when Obama won, John you were a true hero. A true states man. You gave us reason to trust an believe. How lucky the Lord God is to have you. You will truly be missed. Please watch over us from that garden above.
-- Rhonda, New Mexico
I am a Democrat who wept when hearing of Sen. Mccains death. A GREAT man, with integrity and courage.
-- Jan, Oregon
I’m a simple person with a simple life but John touched my life in many ways. I am truly sad to have a survivor like John pass and wish his family , friends and well wishers my condolences. He percervied during his extraordinary life of trials and public service. While not everyone would agree with the path and conviction that his life took him, he stayed true to it. That alone sets him apart from the masses. God bless him and his family as they walk this new path. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, even though I don’t know any of you.
-- Theresa, New York
I was a huge fan of Senator McCain. Unfortunately, as a Canadian, I could not vote for him but I did get to meet him in New Hampshire when he was first running for President and get him to sign his book. I have met a lot of politicians and VIPs in my life but he is the one who impressed me the most. I cannot help but feel that American and world politics would be much improved had he become President but they are at least a whole better for his extraordinary life and contributions. Rest in peace, Senator
-- Tim, Canada
A great American Citizen
-- Wulf, Germany
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
Thank you Senator John McCain for your support of the military.
-- Msg David, Texas
Proud to be from the State of Arizona where John McCain was my representative in the Senate. A true war hero, a great leader and a servant of our country. God Bless his family.
-- Dana, Arizona
As just an ordinary citizen I wish to thank his wife Cindy for all the support she gave to over the years to this patriotic man and husband . He will not be forgotten and neither will she . So Thank You Cindy and May God Be with as your new challenges come .
-- Connie, Arizona
I'll never forget Sen. McCain's graciousness when he invited me and a videographer into his home after I called to do a TV news story in 1994. I was new in Phoenix television and he made me feel so welcome. We met his wife and children and watched some boxing on tv with him too. Everytime I saw him in the public eye for so many years later, I remembered that day. He was a great American and a great person.
-- Dennis, Indiana
The world needs more John McCain’s. The McCain family has been, and will continue to be in my prayers. I am so thankful for Senator McCain’s service and love for our country. He is an example of what all that is good in our country. I pray that more of our citizens follow his example. I’l say it again, the world needs more John McCain’s.
-- Shannon, Florida
Senator John McCain represented the values and character that strengthened the very foundation of our democracy. Judy and I , are joined by are entire family in sending our sympathy and love. I willl never forget campaigning with the Senatorhis unswerving path of love for America,enduring optimism,and unfailing,though occasionally biting humor. How blessed to have known him and have him put “my friend” befor my name.
-- Lew and Judy, Florida
Senator John McCain, one of the great leaders in the U.S. and around the world, is remembered for his faith, dignity, leadership, his love for people everywhere, and his love for his family. Senator McCain will be greatly missed by all, and especially by his comrades and friends in Arizona and Washington, D.C. Senator McCain has made the world a better place with his faith, integrity, leadership; his stand for democracy and freedom for all. His books are a great inspiration and teaching for this generation and the generations to come. Senator McCain's Leadership Institute will teach and bring other leaders for freedom and democracy for peoples all over the world. Senator McCain has been a great servant to Americans and to people in other countries of the world. His faith in God, courage and determination, are an inspiration for everyone all over the world.
-- Teresa, Kentucky
My heartfelt sympathy to Cindy McCain, the McCain children and the rest of the McCain family for your loss. Senator McCain was a patriot and served our country well. Thank you for sharing him with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve.
-- Kathleen, Michigan
Senator McCain, Your passing causes me much sadness. There are very few men like you that loved our country as much as you did in your lifetime. Thank you for your service to our beloved country.
-- Alice, California
A great warrior for the United States. Gone but will never be forgotten.
-- Bruce, California
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
I remember Senator McCain's voice when I was serving with USAID in Iraq. His honest confrontation with the situation encouraged me in my work, but more importantly as a citizen. I will continue to be inspired by his work, his work, his words, his love of country, his dedication to service, and his memory.
-- Dana, California
I remember Senator McCain as a great patriot and a great American which to me is the greatest honor I can bestow on him.
-- Ivan, Washington
Senator John McCain I want to thank you for your heroic service to our Great country. My political viewpoints may differ than yours but I admire you and truly believe that if there was anyone who can make a difference it was you sir. I hope your examples in life willl continue to inspire people with political differences to have respect and integrity for each other. God bless you
-- Patrick, Florida
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
Sen. McCain is a tremendous loss to this country. He was a national treasure, and it’s a good thing that he stood for things bigger than himself because those things outlived him. We still have what was most important about him: the fruits of a committed life. As a retired Marine, I salute you, sir!
-- Will, California
Senator McCain was a true example of a leader! One that works with even those across the aisle. We need more of these now!
-- Michael, Arkansas
The last American hero. Honest, Brave, and Caring. He returned with Honor, and left with Honor.
-- Gregory, Michigan
A man and gentleman who had dignity, integrity and was persistent in accomplishing the many tasks he wanted to get done. He disagreed with many but for the good and well being of the American citizens and then died with courage and leaving us in a better place due to his accomplishments.
-- Tony, Wisconsin
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
I've never donated to any politician in my 65 years, but having had a strong respect for John McCain, I donated to his Senatorial campaign in Arizona, even though I live in Pennsylvania! Susan Smith, LooptyHoops and Vistage
-- Susan, Pennsylvania
I had the honor of meeting Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain at a fundraiser many years ago. He shared a very funny story about how his grey hair made everyone at the kindergarten think that he was a grandfather instead of a father. When we visited his cell in Vietnam, I could not hold back the tears - no doubt the others on our tour could not understand why I was so affected, but I felt that it was more personal since we actually met. Senator McCain was a true hero and his commitment to our country and his service are an inspiration. He leaves behind a truly amazing legacy. Our deepest condolences to the McCain family and particularly to Mrs. McCain.
-- Polina, California
A man of Honor and Integrity
-- Gregory E, Florida
John Thank You for your service to this country as nothing can ever come close to the accomplishments you have made not only in uniform but out as well. You are a national treasure and will not be forgotten.
-- Robert, Arizona
My late uncle was a prisoner of war. I honor all those that fought for our country and fell under battle or were taken prisoner or are still mission in action. They are the true heroes of America. Rest in peace.
-- sandi, Rhode Island
A truly loving father and kind man. Thank you for your service.
-- Teresa, Arizona
#IncredibleStrength - at a Public Town Hall John stood there and listened to every word without interrupting as a "disgruntled" Veteran read "a prepared speech", many pages long, time consuming, his raised voice and anger self-evident, criticizing John's Senate Record - then calmly, after asking the Veteran if he was finished, John added "if you can do better, run for the Senate".
-- Lance, Arizona
I was proud to have met Senator McCain a few years back and performed for John and Cindy at their ranch a few years back with one of my old rock n roll bands at their ranch. He was and will be remembered as a great hero of all American people and an iconic individual who's lifetime of public service to all and especially people of Arizona!! I am proud to have worked and still work for Hensley Beverage Company.We will all miss you and send condolences to your beautiful family!!
-- Fred, Arizona
I like John McCain, I wish I had meet him and his family.
-- David, Texas
I remember when the Great John McCain defended the name of Barack Obama when a lady tried to say he was a Muslim. He stood up for Obama at a time when so many others are trying to divide the nation. He was a politician that really brought Americans together.
-- Dominic, Georgia
I worked for Senator McCain presidential campaign. I was a coordinator for getting him on the Virginia primary ballot. I also work many hours during the campaign. I believe that he was a great American hero and someone who we should all strive to be emulate. Nobody did more for his country than the Senator, and I wish will my heart that he gets his final reward. I would like to extend my family sympathy. He provide my family the freedoms we enjoy.
-- Bob, Louisiana
Senator John McCain is why we stand during the National Anthem. Period. RIP John, you will be truly missed.
-- Tina, Arizona
I send my heartfelt condolences to a man that fought the fight in so many ways ...probably the hardest fight was the horrible disease called cancer.May he RIP.So sorry to his family.
-- Marion, New York
Thank you to John McCain & his family for service & sacrifice to this country. My deepest condolences to the family.
-- Brigitte, Florida
Sen. John McCain was a good and decent man. I'll remember him that way and be thankful for his extraordinary service to our country.
-- Carol, Florida
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
Knowing his character we voted for him in the primary against GW Bush and for him and Sarah Palin in 2008. What a man! Blessings on the Mc Cain family.
-- Donald and Marilyn, Ohio
Powerful statesman, representative of all citizens not just a party...a true naan of the people. Thank you for your service! Bless you
-- Christine, Pennsylvania
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
Our prayers and thoughts are with the McCain family. He will be truly missed
-- David, California
Shook hands with John and his beautiful wife when I did a little work on his 2008 presidential campaign. Nice people.
-- Gilbert, California
I JUST WANTED TO EXPRESS MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY AND PRAYERS TO THE McCAIN FAMILY.ALTHOUGH AS A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT I DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM[MY MISTAKE}I FOLLOWED AND RESPECTED THIS TRULY WONDERFUL MAN AND GREAT PATRIOT.HE WILL BE MISSED MY ALL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD AND MOST OF ALL BY ALL AMERICANS.I HOPE YOU FIND PEACE KNOWING HE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT AND IS AT PEACE WITH GOD.MAY GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY AND HELP YOU THRU THIS VERY SAD TIME.P.S THANK YOU FOR SHARING JOHN WITH US.GOD BLESS
-- THOMAS, New York
As just an ordinary citizen on the other side of the political spectrum, I didn't always agree with Senator McCain. But I admired his tenacity, his blatant love of the USA, his devotion to its citizens and his ability to work with the other side of the aisle (sometimes going against his own party's stance) to achieve meaningful legislation. He was one of the old guard who demonstrated integrity, wit and straight talk. The world was a better place with him in it and be assured his legacy will live on. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us. My sincerest condolences.
-- Renee, Florida
I met John McCain in 1985, when he spoke to my graduating class at Washington HS. I became a supporter and follower of his from that day forward. He was an amazing man with strong values. Arizona and America will not be the same without him.
-- Brent, Arizona
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