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.
Thank you for your sacrifice and service. You endured more than we could ever know. I appreciated your honesty and truth....even though I may not have always agreed. I supported and voted for you in 2008 because of you love of country and honesty. Rest in peace sir! Prayers for the entire McCain family as you grieve the loss of this great man. May God and Americans wrap you in hugs and prayers. May God Bless America!
-- Chris, Ohio
My dear maverick will truly miss you is going to be difficult without writing letters to you an email I will never forget the graciousness your wife displaying at the parties of Fourth of July in 2000 and 2001 will be parties that I truly will treasure now you are with your heroes Barry Goldwater, William T Garland, mote Mo Udall and other great Arizonans including the classy Gov. Rose Mulford your example of not putting anybody down will be a countless example in US history illustrated talk express one of the best memories of my young adult life as I stated in your last letter that that hope you had a chance to see I said that the maverick force be with you Megan Cindy and the rest of him became family I mourn your loss your loss is my loss as well!!
-- Ted, Arizona
Mrs. McCain, I am so sorry for your loss. I was fortunate to have met Senator McCain in March of 2017 on a flight from Brussels to DC. Senator McCain took the time to speak with me and I greatly appreciate it. We spoke about Israel, and the importance of public service. He commented on the fact that two of his favorite places in the world were Jerusalem and Istanbul. I have a great admiration for his courage and willpower to fight for what he believed in until the very end. I only spoke with him for five minutes but those five minutes have made me proud of my Americorps service and in pursuing my MSW. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. The world truly lost an incredible individual. He will forever be missed. Sincerely, Miriam Goldstein
-- Miriam, Maryland
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 Senator McCain for your service & sacrifice to our country and your undying/unwavering commitment to make our country better for all. God speed and fly high. Gods blessings of peace to his family and friends.
-- Dana, Illinois
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
please accept my condolence
-- george, New York
Please accept my most sincere condolences. Senator John McCain was a true hero and statesmen, his leadership will be a great loss to our county
-- Pamela, Florida
He was a man of true integrity and love for this country and humanity. You will be sincerely missed but remembered as the great force you are.
-- Alicia, Maryland
Dedicated to America. There is really nothing more one needs to say.
-- Paul, Illinois
I only know him from T.V. and the Newspaper, But he was an AMERICAN HERO! R.I.P. MR .MACAIN!!
-- Robert, Florida
Let's put aside politics remember John McCain for putting his life on the line for our country family that has to live without him he's asleep no more pain beautiful memories bless his family
-- Sharon, Nevada
Peace with Lord.
-- Howard, California
My prayers go to john McCain Family he will be remember
-- Anthony, Pennsylvania
John McCain, you were my HERO, you are my HERO! Rest in peace, I am going to miss you.
-- Saat, Florida
My condolences to to the family of Senator McCain. Its very difficult to find a man and a Hero like Senator McCain in this century. My prayers will always be with him. Sayed Monis MD Neurosciencescenters.com
-- SAYED, California
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
While serving with Pilots in the USAF in 1969, we followed this hero in the Hanoi prison as well as the other prisoners. I had the honor to meet him last year and tell him. I also told him that in 2004 I helped him during a debate at Saddleback Church in Orange County where he and Mr. Obama were interviewed by Pastor Rick Warren. Last year he thanked me. I thank John McCain!
-- Bill, Arizona
I worked on his Presidential campaign and was devastated when he wasn't elected as our President. He was a Hero and gentleman may he rest in peace.
-- Sally, New York
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
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 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
Dear Family: With all his many impressive accomplishments I always looked at him with pride . I was pleased to have been a classmate in USNA-58 with him for a while. He was a great man. The country will miss him.
-- Rich, Wisconsin
John was often commenting that we had know each other since the early '80s. We shared some fun experiences at Grand Canyon's El Tovar for lunches and dinners over the years. We rafted the Colorado, hiked the Canyon, and co- chairs of the GCNP Foundation. My favorite memory was introducing him at a Foundation Cookout. I had been a Vietnam helicopter pilot, but never experienced his pain or truma... I introduced him as MY HERO and as the next President of the United States. I am honored to have known him and have wonderful memories.
-- Allen, Arizona
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
We love you John.
-- Jerry, Michigan
RIP, the whole world is proud of your legacy. As a Syrian i thank you for the support and help you have offered to the Syrian people. My God mercy your sole and may God bless you.
-- Feras, Syria
My heart and prayers go out to McClain family we love you stay strong and remember what he stands for unity and love he will always be our hero
-- Shirley, South Carolina
RIP fellow Vietnam Veteran. We met during your 2008 campaign and I was hopeful you would win the presidency. But it was not to be. Blue skies and tailwinds fellow pilot.
-- clyde, Michigan
Trusted Statesman. Thank you for your dedication and your service. Barbra a democrat
-- Barbra, Illinois
This country has lost a guiding light. I’m saddened for his loss and my prayers are with the family. I know that he is looking down on heaven watching over us. My wish is his passing will inspire others in Congress to take up his cause.
-- Al, Pennsylvania
My heart and prayers are with the McCain family. I am so "thankful" for his service to our country and his family. May God bless and comfort you all. What a great man and leader.
-- jan, Arizona
John McCain set the highest moral example for all of us, regardless of political affiliation, to uphold. I pray that his example will resonate throughout political circles and that civil discourse will return to the seats of power in our country. It was my highest honor to shake the hand of this great man during his presidential campaign in Kansas City. May we all live by the example of a life of service and civility that John McCain epitomized. Thank you, God, for the life of John McCain and for giving him the strength of spirit to endure and keep fighting for what he believed in and the America he cherished. Farewell, Senator. We are all blessed to have known you and have you among us!
-- JAMES, Missouri
Our two kids, Mary Leigh and Joshua had their first public service experiences working hard in NH and CT on the 2008 campaigns. The Senator was kind enough to remember "the kid in the yellow jacket" years later. Tracy, the now-adult "kids" and I all appreciate the opportunity and honor to support this great American. I we only hope that he was not the last of his breed.
-- Michael, Connecticut
Had the honor of meeting John McCain on two occasions in NY. I remember him telling how proud he was about his son enlisting in the USMC. I am proud of you JOHN, please Rest In Peace. Thank you for the good example you have demonstrated for Vietnam Veterans like myself. God bless you and your family. Donald J. Steinert USMC, proud Vietnam Veteran PS. I started reading Restless Wave last week.
-- Donald, New York
He is a man with dignity and respect. He’s great father, brother, and human person... btw am Arizona resident n I’ll miss him. ??????
-- Maanka, Arizona
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
Above and beyond his illustrious life and career, he was a prince of a guy. We loved him!
-- Cynthia, New York
My husband Richard (USMC Viet Nam 1967) and I express our appreciation for Senator McCain's service, of all kinds. And sorrow to his family as he will be deeply missed. May God bless you, each one, and grant you comfort and deeper faith in Christ alone.
-- Kathryn, Arizona
Thank you so much your help our country, We miss you
-- Van, Maryland
True hero. Our country has lost a true statesman. RIP. GOD BLESS
-- AlRose, Georgia
I never got the honor to meet John, what I seen and watched him he was a True American. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. R.I.P John McCain
-- Michael, Michigan
I just wish we had 2008 to do over again!!! John McCain was a great man. I voted was for him in both 2000 and 2008.
-- Joseph, Illinois
Senator McCain was a true American Hero and Patriot who deserves the respect and gratitude of EVERY American. Thank you Senator McCain for a job well done. Rest In Peace.
-- Leo J., New Jersey
John McCain is the only candidate for president that I, a life-long democrat, have financially supported.
-- Lawrence, Oregon
Thank for the blanket of FREEDOM you so unselfishly provided to everyone in the Initef States ofErica with your service and dedication to every AmericaGod ZBless you and your family
-- Judith, California
My name is Mina Castilho, I admire and loved Senator McCain. What a great loss for the whole world. Thank you Senator McCain for dedicating 60 years of your life to serve this wonderful and great Country. I am sending love and blessings to His family. May our God hold all of you in His loving arms. I will miss your sense of humor your service and fight to make this a better place. R.I.P Sir!!!
-- Mina, California
Thank you, senator, for a life full of courage, integrity, and honor. You made me proud to be an American. My deepest sympathies to Mrs. McCain and the entire McCain family.
-- Brian, Pennsylvania
He was loved by all of us that shared his desire for goodness and integrity for all people . His legacy will live forever. God bless all of the McCains .we all meet John someday in Heaven . You were truly blessed family to be his family . Lew
-- Lewis, New York
I sorry for you lose
-- clara, North Carolina
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