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.
Rest in heaven , you will be truly miss , praying for the family may God give you all strength as y’all grieve over your love one
-- Sharhonda, Louisiana
Thank you, John McCain, for your service throughout your life! I truly admired you and what you stood for! God Bless and my deepest sympathy to your family!
-- Michelle, Texas
Always a hero. Love and prayers to the family.
-- Linda, Missouri
Live on Senator. I will always remember the kind words you shared with the Public at the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy.
-- Fred, Florida
Thank you John for your service to all people of this nation. both in war and peace. Fair winds and calm seas on your journey. RIP.
-- Robert, California
We were very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of John McCain's courage, patriotism, and principled politics. May God bless John McCain and his family.
-- Robert, Maryland
Thank you for your service in the US Navy, Sir. You were a true hero!
-- Cathy, North Carolina
A well-earned rest for you, John. Truly well-earned in the eyes of God and of men.
-- Marc of Contemplative Pathways, Philippines
True hero. Our country has lost a true statesman. RIP. GOD BLESS
-- AlRose, Georgia
You were a true hero.
-- SAHBA, Texas
I am a Viet Nam veteran and a Republican. I have always held John McCain in the highest regard. I watched the return of the POWs and cried as they exited the plane. God Bless John McCain
-- Lamar, Georgia
I have followed John McCain's career since I was 16 years old from the late '70's. I recognized his devotion to his fellow countrymen and personal honor. He will always be an inspiration to me and an example of a great American. May your soul be at rest.
-- Scott, California
we miss you and we prays you alway..............
-- HUONG, Virginia
I just like him, without reservation, one of a kind human being who brings up high the core value we all shall fight to keep.
-- Helen, Canada
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
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
Our condolences to the McCain Family in their time of grief. May God hold you in his arms and wipe away your tears and hold you and be with you at this time.
-- Violet, Indiana
Dear Senator, Thank you for your service to our country. May you rest in peace.
-- Jordan, Massachusetts
Senator Mccain was a true hero and statesman. He will be missed by American citizens. I"m so sorry for your loss.
-- diane, Florida
I voted for John McCain because he was a real life Rambo.
-- JOLEEN, Massachusetts
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
Godspeed Senator McCain.
-- Stanley, Maryland
John McCain was special! He spoke his heart, was committed to service, and profoundly loyal to his country. We were blessed to have him represent us and we will be forever blessed by witnessing the respectful way he left us.
-- Cherie, Louisiana
Honor to a great Hero
-- Eduardo R., Florida
Thank you John McCain. You deeply impressed me. My heart is with your family. You truly left an impact and hopefully your legacy will make a difference. You gave us hope in Europe.
-- Sabine, Germany
"We have to fight. We have to fight against propaganda and crackpot conspiracy theories. We have to fight isolationism, protectionism, and nativism. We have to defeat those who would worsen our divisions. We have to remind our sons and daughters that we became the most powerful nation on Earth by tearing down walls, not building them." America will be poorer for losing the voice of this brave. RIP
-- Michael, Texas
A great American Citizen
-- Wulf, Germany
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
I met this lovely person at the Leesburg Virginia airport when he was traveling with Col. Oliver North. We had discussions concerning Aviation during which he highly complimented me in my aviation endeavors. I am convinced that he is a true American Hero whose name should be memorialized along with this nations greatest.
-- david, Virginia
We shall remember Captain John McCain, USN (Ret.) as a magnificent patriot. Bless him and all in his family.
-- Robert, Washington
My deepest condolences to your family. He was a True Hero. Rest In Peace.
-- Patrice, New Hampshire
I worked on the last mccain campaign and I will never forget how much he respected his opponents. He was a class act and spoke well of all- even those who did not return the respect. Thank you Senator for teaching us was kindness and virtue looked like.
-- D, Arizona
I was honored to shake Senator McCain's hand when I worked at Raytheon. He smiled a big smile at me, and held out his hand. I will never forget that moment.
-- Helen, Arizona
John McCain, a name that simply means the utmost respect for God, Country, And Honor! I have always Admired this man and will never forget him. Thank you for your service to us all! May God show you and your family the love and respect that you have shown us all your entire life and beyond! Your legacy will live forever ??
-- Kay, Arizona
I voted for John McCain. He would have been a great president! However, he was a great senator and patriot!
-- Dean, Colorado
My wife and I first met Senator McCain and his wife in 2007 in Dover, NH at a small intimate gathering unique to NH's place in politics, as he began his 2008 Presidential bid. As he shook hands with the small crowd we mentioned our son was in Iraq, and was supportive of his policies for that region. Senator McCain seemed genuinely interested, and Cindy spent more than a few moments chatting with my wife, mentioning their son would be deploying soon. We became volunteer works on Senator McCain's campaign (the first and only time we've felt the need to do that)) and as such had a few occasions to speak with him. Amazingly, he always remembered to ask about our son. We found him to be a genuine and thoughtful person. A true American who's life's impact will reverberate well into the future. Thoughts and prayers for family.
-- Mark & Deb, New Hampshire
Well done good and faithful servant.
-- Marha, New York
I just plain miss him....I had much interaction with him over the years and I just plain miss him ...there was never anyone like him and never will be...
-- Greta, Washington, D.C.
Being a first generation immigrant and die hard democrat party supporter, I have always felt heartened by the honesty and patriotism of Sen.Mccain. He was a example to me of the greatness left in public service and my faith in my new country always was firm thanks to him. My prayers for this wonderful man.
-- Kumar, New Jersey
As a Starbucks barista in Cottonwood, Az for the past 11 years, I had the privilege of making the Senator, and his family their favorite drinks several times a year. We never spoke politics. We talked about our kids, we talked about movies, we shared a lot of laughs. He got a kick out of a John McCain bobble head my son bought me for Christmas, and I made fun of his wearing the same shirt every time I saw him. I respected him for his unending service to our country, I loved him for his sense of humor and affection. Rest east, my dear friend, the holidays will never, ever be the same for us in the Verde Valley.
-- Sandy, Arizona
We were Naval Academy classmates. He was my naval and American hero.
-- Thomas, Hawaii
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
When Senator McCain was running for President I prayed with all the belief I could muster that he would be elected. It didn't happen for a reason, and I hope now John knows why.
-- Lynne, Minnesota
It was a honor to walk the community campaigning for John McCain for President. He gave a weary country the hope that it so desperately needed. Disappointment was an understatement when he did not win but he taught us grace and Hope over disappointment and to roll up our sleeves and move on. Reminding us, this was not about us but for a better America for the future...An amazing man, amazing legacy, and amazing patriot that taught us not to ever give up. Thank you John McCain....
-- Sharon, California
A true patriot and hero. Few today can understand the courage he had and the service he gave to his country. BRAVO ZULU, John from a fellow USNA grad.
-- Charles, Washington
We love you John.
-- Jerry, Michigan
God bless this family. Remarkable gentleman. His family and world has lost a true leader.
-- Susan, Nevada
I remember Sen. McCain at Wright State University introducing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was a fun and optimistic time. I will always remember his patriotism.
-- Mary S, Ohio
To a man that has held our flag high all of his life. God Bless and Keep you in his arms
-- James, Ohio
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
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