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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.

To the family: I am sorry for your loss. I watched Senator McCain on television as he fought for and stood for his beliefs. God be with the family in their time of bereavement.

-- Jacqueline, Virginia

Honored to have voted for the Senator in 2000 Republican Presidental primary as well 2008 General election! One of the few votes in my lifetime that I am proud of. The country will be so much worse of without the unifying spirit of the late Senator. God bless his spirit and memory! My deepest condolences to the McCain family!

-- Dzafer, Illinois

You are a great American Hero and you will never be forgotten!!! Thank you for your courage, values, leadership, and service!!!

-- Mike, Washington

Thank you Senator.

-- Joe, Pennsylvania

We love you so much, I'm totally sorry for the lost of a great man that spoke the truth about the whole world and fight for the state of Arizona and he will truely be miss and remember the greatest memories what you done to save our state. God bless the family and friends.???????.may God bless our state of Arizona.

-- William, Arizona

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

-- Gilbert, California

My prayers go to john McCain Family he will be remember

-- Anthony, Pennsylvania

I related to Senator McCain because he was different from most in Congress. He put values and beliefs before political affiliations. He was the best within us. I am sad at our loss but rejoice that he will be rewarded and welcomed in heaven.

-- Jane, Tennessee

I remember spending time in Michigan traveling and attending events as we campaigned for his Presidency in Michigan. I found him to be very heartfelt when we spoke one on one. I shall remember him with rsspect forever. Senator McCain has been missed by numerous individuals.

-- Judy Todd, Michigan

Peace with Lord.

-- Howard, California

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear husband, father, warrior and true patriot. We are fortunate to follow in his footsteps, with the passion, grace and integrity that he evinced every day. Take what comfort you can knowing we will honour his memory by striving for the highest standards of conduct and service to that which is larger than ourselves.

-- Michaela, Canada

There is a belief that great people are even greater and have more influence in the after life. Certainly we can hope that Senator McCain will watch over us and continue to protect us from his new standing.

-- Joseph, Nevada

While in college at the University of Arizona, I worked on Senator McCain's first bid for the senate. I always admired Senator McCain's service to our country, his honesty and tenacity. May he Rest In Peace.

-- Janet, Wyoming

I like John McCain, I wish I had meet him and his family.

-- David, Texas

Well done good and faithful servant.

-- Marha, New York

I am an independent and I voted for Senator McCain for president twice. He was the real thing. I will miss him terribly. Sheila, Massachusetts

-- sheila, Massachusetts

Senator John McCain rest in peace you are truly missed God bless and may he cradle you in his arms

-- Kevin Michael, Arizona

Remembering a very, very good man. What a great example John McCain left for us to follow. Farewell brave hero. Sleep well.

-- Audrey, New Jersey

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

Thank you John, we all aspire to be more like you!

-- Rafael, Florida

A true American! Our country is a lesser place without him! Rest In Peaceand God speed.

-- David, Arizona

My entire job experience has been in one way or another working for Senator John McCain. His presidential staff hired me two days out of college, and I have been a proud member of Team McCain ever since. John McCain taught me the importance of hard work, the fact that sometimes setbacks are actually doors opening elsewhere, and the true meaning of being an American….(and that campaigns build character and are the best place to find friends and teammates.) I will miss Senator McCain so much, but I know his legacy lives on in all of us that knew him and those who will read his books, study his legacy and strive to make our nation safer and stronger.

-- Whitney, Virginia

I remember him as being a truly honorable man whom loved and worked hard at serving and protecting his country. We need more such MEN. My condolences to his family and all whom cared for him.

-- Martha, Washington

My deepest sympathies to the McCain family. He was a true gentleman who took his duties as a senator very seriously. I admire his independence and his love of family and country. May he rest in peace

-- Cindy, Minnesota

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

"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

I honor and Respect all that he has done. My personal brief enconter wad working on his presentatioal campaign in 2008. I was proud to participate and surprised my Family for the first time ever to actiely want to participate in a Campaign, that was how dtrongly I respected Senator John McCain. The closest I ever got to him was in PHX when he had his presidential loss he was so Gracious. I still am so glad and proud that the time I devoted to Senator John McCain. With Love and Grace to his family and colleagues at this time with Prayers.

-- Leslie K, Arizona

Some politicians will be remembered as a good Republican or a good Democrat. John McCain will be remembered as a good man.

-- Richard, Indiana

A hero I wish he was from my state God bless his soul Missing You senator McCain

-- Ali, California

Senator John McCain is why we stand during the National Anthem. Period. RIP John, you will be truly missed.

-- Tina, Arizona

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

A man of relentless courage and selfless dedication. Your legacy lives on...

-- Gregory W., Virginia

Although I never met him, as a chef, I prepared food for his team during the 2008 Civil Forum at Saddleback Church. It was an exciting privilege, and debate with then candidate Obama. I'm sure if Senator McCain had won (as I hoped and voted), our country would be in much better shape. I am sure he was received into heaven with "well done, good and faithful servant." God bless his family and may the Lord comfort them with peace, grace, and strength in these difficult days ahead. Thank you John McCain for your service, strength and dedication.

-- sally, California

I am a regular American who has never met Sen. John McCain. However, I can say that I have always admired his strength and courage in light of what he went through during the Vietnam war. He could have come back, withdrew into his own world after the horrors he endured, but instead he continued to serve his country for decades to come, and raised a wonderful family. He is an American hero for the ages. Rest in Peace with our Lord and your family and friends who have gone before you. May Mrs. McCain and family know they are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

-- Carol, Florida

I will always be grateful for his courage to do the right thing. Thank you John. See you in heaven.

-- Stephen, Washington

My greatest memory is working on his campaign for President. I was a volunteer on the ground floor of HQ in Crystal City. The room suddenly filled with volunteers. We were told John & Cindy were on their way. They arrived to a packed room with news cameras following. I was standing off to the side. The news wanted a photo with a volunteer after he spoke to us. He looked over at me and drew me into the picture. What a day! Sympathies to family and friends!

-- Sally, Virginia

John taught me that character is the most important quality of a leader....measured by actions ... guantified with respect ...appreciated with love...he was an awesome soul!

-- Bernie, Massachusetts

A true American hero. May God rest his soul

-- Neal, Connecticut

The world has lost a great statesman who was respected by people all over the globe. I never met him personally but nevertheless felt inspired by his strong and clear vision about the role of the United States in the global political system.

-- Mike, Germany

Despite being Russian, and totally an opponent to the Respectable Mr. McCain views, I have to pay a tribute, homage and respect to the real patriot of his country. That's the kind of people our countries stand on. Rest in peace, Mr. McCain.

-- Alexander, Russia

I met him and was beyond humbled when he thanked me for my service

-- Terri, Missouri

I am sad and disappointed that I did not get a chance to meet you in person. It was always a pleasure to listen to what you had to say! A great man and role model for us. Thank you for your service Sir!

-- Patrick, Arizona

The nation lost a great man but your family has lost so much more. I sympathize with your sorrow. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

-- Nancy, Arizona

Godspeed Senator McCain.

-- Stanley, Maryland

Thank you.

-- Victor, Arizona

I was a Democrat, but when John ran for President, I'd always said that if he ever ran , I would support him. Party didn't matter as much to me as the intent and decency of the candidate. John is the reason I became a bipartisan ..until trump...and I will be again when integrity is restored to the GOP... by emulating John's ethics. It can honestly be said that John was a "great man", that only comes along in decades. I wasn't prepared, though I knew it might come. Even now, John helps us differentiate the split screen contrast between revered and notoriety. He helped us through the troubled days of late while he was here, and will be the inspiration for us to regain our country's place in the world. I will remember you, John.

-- Jenneva, Arizona

John McCain: An Honest, Loving, and Honorable Man. He was A Man of Strength, Integrity, Bravery and Faith. He had a wonderful sense of Humor and they say, "he had a bit of a temper"! Bless You John, You will be incredibly missed by Your Family and Friends. Your "Foes" won't know where to find a "Fair Honest Fight"!! A Life Fully and Well Lived...Rest now....C. Sue Collins

-- Connie, 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

Sorry for your loss

-- Joan, New York

i am relieved his suffering is over.i did not agree with him always but i did vote for him in 2008. he was a great hero to the u.s. my heart goes out to the family

-- steven, New Hampshire

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.