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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.


Read More Statements

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 never met you but I can see a Great person in you. You served for our country. I am a democrat and in the last few years, the way you were treated were unfair and not deserved. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult time Sir.

-- Abraham, New York

Dear McCain Family... I wrote both my Colorado Senators today because the passing of John McCain has left big shoes to fill. He did the job of three people! He wasn’t a political lemming... he was a true leader. A real statesman. His courage, strength, and honor are what all our politicians should emulate. While his party affiliation was important, his conscience and doing what was right was always more important. All our politicians should should heed that mantra. And learn how to work across the aisle instead of fighting like grade school kids in the sandbox. Senator McCain is the best example to the world of what it means to be an American, to live in a free democracy, and to be a true “son of Liberty”.

-- Diane, Colorado

Senator McCain will be greatly missed. His service to our country was much appreciated. He led with an open, fair mind. He’s a true example for all of us in so many ways. May God bless and comfort your family.

-- Lisa, Oklahoma

Much loved, much respected, very much missed - God speed Senator McCain

-- Loretta, Pennsylvania

His 2008 concession speech showed the Great man he was. Rest well John. Clyde McDonald

-- Clyde, Washington, D.C.

John McCain is the only candidate for president that I, a life-long democrat, have financially supported.

-- Lawrence, Oregon

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 was very saddened to hear of Mr. McCain's passing. I was (and still am) an admirer of the man. I wish he had run for president. He was one of the few true patriots in this country. He will be sorely missed.

-- Teresa, Nebraska

John McCain was a man that I admired greatly. His courage, valor, and willingness to do the right thing no matter the consequences was a great light in my life. His memory will always be a beacon of hope in the world of politics, and his legacy will enrich and be enshrined in the halls of the US Congress. If I pass as a man half as honorable as him, I will rest easy. He served his country honorably. Safe sailing my friend.

-- Jarrod, Florida

Although I didn't have personal stories to tell -- I just would like to say that I am so sorry for your loss -- it is mine, my family and all of the people who are close to me share. He was a great man -- one, no matter what political party you are from, has taught us, inspired us. We are devastated and will miss him so much. So sincerely yours.

-- Mary, New York

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

I am deeply saddened with the news of John's passing but know he is with the Lord. God bless John and his family. Semper-fi LenG

-- Leonard F, California

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

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

Thank you for your service to all of us! Heaven is rejoicing!

-- Melissa, Florida

A few years ago, I wrote Senator John McCain a letter. In the letter, I wrote to him about a charity that he was working on to help the disenfranchised and poor here in America. I wanted to know, from him, why we did not hear more about wonderful things like about his work in the news. I also wrote in the letter that I am a Democrat. Therefore, I did not expect to hear back from him. But, I did. He sent a most wonderful warm response and signed it in ink (smile). I am a US Veteran. Senator McCain's service is and always be unmatched. When we lost him, the sorrow is as great as the day we lost John F. Kennedy. Our Nation's Hero set the highest example that MOST will never achieve. But, at least we can honor him and keep trying!

-- Stan-Joseph, Georgia

Thanks You John for your service. Rest assured you will be missed. My condolences to your family.

-- Jeff, Missouri

Senator John McCain was a compassionate man and took a stand against torture. I am thankful for all he had done for the world.

-- John, South Dakota

John McCain, we need you more than ever now. If only others could exemplify your courage, honesty, wisdom, grace and vigor. Perhaps now, some will realize your contributions to this country, and how very important it is to put country over party. Thank you, Senator McCain. You will not be forgotten.

-- Sharon, California

I voted for John for president! I too was a Vietnam veteran! I always looked to him as a leader! He voted his heart and beliefs! John put his country first!

-- Gary, Montana

We never meet. I sometimes disagreed. Still, John was the best American to represent my generation. We will all eventually perish. I just hope to see another John McCain before that day.

-- John, Idaho

I met the senator once in New jersey during a campaign event during his presidential bid. I had his photograph in my office since that day. John represented what is best about this nation. We shared a few things; we were both born in Panama ,both loved flying and we fought for Israel and the USA. He was a brave, honest and kind human being. I am priviliged to have know him. This country would have been much different if John had become president. Rest in peace

-- Dr. Ruben, New Jersey

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

Great Leader,our country will surely miss his leadership.Condolenses to his family.

-- Johnsie, North Carolina

"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

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


-- TOBY, Alabama

Every one Loved John

-- Floyd, Arizona

Take your brave soldier having fought the good fight of faith until your name was echoed from heaven's realm for your task has been completed. Your example of courage will not be gotten. You will be missed.

-- Phillip, South Carolina

A courageous, and humble person who really loved his nation and state.

-- Jose, Arizona

Well done good and faithful servant....

-- Susan, Texas

A real American. One of a kind. So long.

-- Dave, Florida

Rest In Peace Senator McCain. Thank you for your service to our country. Very pleased to learn about the TGen Project That you brought to Arizona. I know many people will benefit from that.

-- Janie, Arizona

About three years ago we were at the Tee Pee Restaurant in Phoenix, and we’re thrilled to see Senator McCain in the flesh! Our deepest condolences to the McCain family. It is a great loss.

-- Andrew, Arizona

I never met Senator McCain personally, but worked diligently on his Presidential Campaign in GA. I wish he had been our President over those eight years, but it was not to be. My husband is a former Marine, so I greatly appreciate the sacrifices our military give for our country. I greatly appreciate and am thankful for John McCain and his great service to our country. may he Rest in Peace. May God be with you, his family and give you comfort and peace. Fair winds and following seas.

-- Carolyn, Georgia

John McCain was the Executive Officer of VA174 when I was in A-7E RAG training at Cecil Field in the mid 1970s. He personally taught me low-level tactics, and weapons training at MCAS Yuma AZ. What a GREAT instructor, and motivator! And John had one of the most infectious senses of humor of anyone I have ever known. What an inspiration of a man!!

-- Richard, Idaho

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

He came to Jacksonville years ago to sign his new book at a local bookstore. My daughter and I waited on line for two hours, when we finally got to him, I asked him if his arm was hurting from signing so many books. He laughed and said he'd been through worse.

-- Kathryn, Florida

We fly our flag at half staff on our porch in his Honor. As a man of honor, a War Hero and a patriot, he treated people with dignity which is sorely missing these days. Senator McCain will Always be remembered. What a Contrast from Mr. Trump who will NEVER be Remembered. We love you and will miss you forever. Senator McCain was a HERO. Bless the McCain family.

-- sheldon, New York

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

and this the power family I m send though my senator McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled 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 johns 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 johns life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving this world a better place for generations to come the McCain family

-- ashley, Florida

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

-- Linda, North Carolina

Rest well upon the mountain, mighty oak. May your work(s) speak for you throughout antiquity. America, and the world, have been magnificently blessed by Sen. McCain’s unparalleled service and sacrifice.

-- Gwendolyn & Rev. Louis, Pennsylvania

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

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

Senator John McCain was a man of honor and brave war hero who always put his country and family first. He is an inspiration to every American and we will miss him. May he Rest In Peace.

-- Dan, New Jersey

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

The only thing is to pray for him. May God RIP.

-- mafuli, Florida

A man of class who always always always took the high road.

-- Paula, Washington

I feel the loss of you, Senator McCain. I mourn you no longer being here and I know how special you were. I wish you could have stayed.

-- Meredith, Alaska

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.