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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.

I campaigned for John McCain in two presidential elections, at his offices in Phoenix,making phone calls and addressing mail. also I worked at a Scottsdale campaign head quarters . I so wanted Him to become president. I will always honor his memory. As a Scottsdale resident of over 37 years ...Rest in Peace JOHN MCCAIN

-- Joyce, Arizona

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

-- John, Hawaii

He was really awesome human being We will miss you Mr McCain ?may you Rest In Peace with no more pain

-- Ana, California

God bless you and your family. Truly a light in a time of darkness. Thank you for being an example of the greatest human qualities. Rest in peace.

-- Karen, California

As a young person starting to notice politics, I first became familiar with Senator McCain when he was running for President and selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. In the years after that, I would see him in the news and was impressed with his work and the heart felt sentiment he gave upon his return to the Capital after his diagnosis. We need more people like the Senator both in government and society. Patriotism is everything and too many people treat it like nothing these days. That needs to change.

-- Bobbi, Pennsylvania

Thank you so much your help our country, We miss you

-- Van, Maryland

Supported John in both his runs for the Presidency and almost volunteered to go to South Carolina to work in the campaign in 2008. Wish I had so I may have got a chance to meet him and thank him for his service to this country

-- Andy, North Carolina

Rest In Peace Senator. You will be greatly missed. Your integrity and honesty will long be remembered.

-- Linda, North Carolina

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

I'll always remember a great line you gave "The most dangerous place in DC is between Chuck Schumer and a TV Camera". Bless you and your family and thank you.

-- John, California

I was in the USAF in SWA when John McCain was taken hostage by the NVA. We did everything we could to rescue him but to no avail. John McCain will always be a true American Hero to everyone in the military. I’m positive he has “...reached out and touched the face of God”

-- Tom, Alabama

Thank you sir, for your service to our country. We honor and appreciate your sacrifices. Condolences to your Family and Friends.

-- Jean & David, California

HERO Above Them All. While he might not have agreed with every person, he respected them all. He saw the best in everyone and spoke the truth as he knew it. God Bless John McCain.

-- Lawrence, Virginia

Rest in Peace, Warrior!

-- William, Indiana

Then Congressman McCain’s office was next to my Member Bob Davis in Longworth HOB, circa 1983-85. I was Bob’s press secretary and we became friends with John and his staff. He was a regular guy and would exchange pleasantries in the hallway and the adjoining restroom. Each office had a restroom for the Member, but John would frequent the staff facility like it was no big deal. He treated us with friendly banter and one of the guys. I’ve been a fan ever since.

-- Paul, Michigan

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 will keep you in are hearts for the rest of our lives

-- John, Oregon

Shook hands with John and his beautiful wife when I did a little work on his 2008 presidential campaign. Nice people.

-- Gilbert, California

R E S P E C T- one word that embodies John McCain and all he stands for.

-- Cornelia, Georgia

Thank you for putting our country first.

-- Boyer, Ohio

To The McCain Family: I never met the Senator,but I appreciate his service to our nation.May God's peace and comfort be yours at this time.I am praying for you.

-- Jeff, New Jersey

Senator John McCain was a true American hero. He will live on forever in our hearts and be greatly missed.

-- Ashlee, Kentucky

A true American Hero He will be missed.

-- Jerome Denise, Arizona

God bless hero! Salute you sir! USAF Desert Storm Veteran.

-- Leighton, Mississippi

I served in Vietnam. Your legacy will inspire the young men and women thinking about entering the military and flying aircraft. Your unselfish position, and willing to sacrifice your life on behalf of the soldiers on the ground is appreciated. Your gallantry in action saved many lives, like myself. Mr. McCain, know that we will always love you, respect you and pray for you and your beautiful family!

-- Carlos, Texas

Thank you John McCain! Blessings to your family!

-- Larry, Arizona

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

Senator McCain transcends party ideology and selfish party discipline. His driving force is the unwavering faith that he has in the true values of American democracy. Straightforward speaking, ready to take coordinated action, showing respect towards his opponents, able to admit his mistakes, and selfless – these are the qualities that McCain possesses, and they make him a leader who has and will influence many generations of people not only in America, but all around the world. Sometimes it can seem that people of such magnitude only exist in history books, but Senator McCain is here and now. He has taught and inspired and he will keep teaching and inspiring. America can be proud to have a son like Senator McCain.

-- Ilze

Dedicated to America. There is really nothing more one needs to say.

-- Paul, Illinois

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

While I didn’t always agree with Senator McCain, he was a patriot, and on two occasions I wrote him, he either answered or sent my letter to my congressman. I admired him, and even if I didn’t always agree, I thought he was a patriot, a man who went thru a living hell so many of us can’t imagine, and he served his country with honor and A sense of what was right. May God bless him always!

-- Carlos, Texas

I thank you for your service. You are the only politician to whom I’ve contributed campaign funds. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

-- Susan, Ohio

I got to meet Senator McCain when I was a young Congressional Staffer in Washington D.C. in 1990. Way back then there was only one Washington D.C. luminary I wanted to meet, it was Sen. John McCain. Try as I might, I could never track him down. Then 3 days before I left Washington, as I was standing at street corner waiting fr the "walk" sign I heard that "voice" and looked to my right and my wish was granted. I said Hello Sen. McCain, I'm from Yuma, and he said well its very nice to see you & inquired about my family and wished me success on my future. Sen. McCain was CLASS and defined SERVICE. He should have been President and showed us what dignity truly is. All my prayers to his family.

-- RODNEY, Arizona

May God Bless The McCain family.

-- Antonio, Delaware

Thank you for your service to America. RIP Senator McCain

-- Joseph, Alabama

I will remember John as a man that went threw enemy torture. A Veteran that stood up to help us Veterans while in the Senate.

-- Rory, Wisconsin

I admired him very much as did my late husband. We were proud to support his candidacy for the Presidency. He was a great man on many levels and will be missed.

-- Sarah, Wisconsin

Fair winds and following seas Warrior. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten.

-- Justin, Arizona

I was and had been a huge supporter of John McCain! I’m so saddened to hear of his passing! My thoughts and prayer go out to the McCain family! Thank You John McCain for your Service and all that it intails!!!!!This country lost the best of the best !!!!!

-- Lori, Michigan

God speed Senator McCain. America has lost a great man.

-- Jean, Arizona

thank you, Sir. and thank you, Cindy and family, for so generously sharing your husband/father/grandfather with us. it's been a trying journey, and your strength and faith inspire us, too. much love, and the peace of the Lord be with you at this time, and always.

-- Marie-Elizabeth, Arizona

I am so very sorry to hear of the Senators passing. His life of service and dedication to our Country Has left this Country a better place and he will always be a role model. My sincere sympathy and thoughts to his Family.

-- Bill, Pennsylvania

The last American hero. Honest, Brave, and Caring. He returned with Honor, and left with Honor.

-- Gregory, Michigan

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

My deepest condolences to Johns family and closest friends! I believe he was a man of utmost integrity! John is the reason I registered to vote. And the reason I continue to do so. I never thought it was that important until the 2008 election. He made me realize just how important it is to not only register but to actually go out and vote. He will forever be remembered not just to me but so many other people as well. May he rest in peace! And may God forever watch over us all!

-- Edward, Florida

As a State Department official in the 1990s, I had the incomparable privilege of returning to Vietnam with Senator John McCain as we sought to obtain the fullest possible accounting for those military service members whose fates had not been resolved or whose bodies had not been recovered. It was there that I witnessed what I considered to be perhaps his ultimate mission, as Senator Mc Cain fulfilled the bond that had united us all in combat, that we would never leave fallen comrades behind. He was a true American hero, and a personal hero to me.

-- Kenneth, Iowa

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

A man to be respected.

-- Wendy, Connecticut

Senator McCain was one of a kind, a true American hero. He was courageous, and honorable. He served his country and Arizona with greatness. I was so proud that he was our Senator. May you rest in peace and God bless you.

-- Pam, Arizona

Senator McCain gave a truly memorable speech at my graduation at the University Of Penn. in 2001. He opened with this statement: “The invitation to give this commencement address is a great honor for someone who graduated fifth from the bottom in the United States Naval Academy Class of 1958. To stand here in full academic regalia, and address an audience of distinguished academics and their learned students has reaffirmed my long held faith that in America anything is possible

-- Vick, Arizona

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.