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 John, we all aspire to be more like you!
-- Rafael, Florida
Always a statesman. You did your country proud.
-- Elissa, North Carolina
I had the pleasure of attending a rally at Sun City, SC when this fine man ran for president of our country.Please remember the good times and ignore those who do not know better.
-- Elsa, South Carolina
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
Thank you very much for the support of Ukraine.
-- Oleksandr, Ukraine
We attempt to live up to the principles and standards you have lived your life. You are Hero not just for America but for the whole world.
-- Prof Alan, Canada
John reminded me of my late Father, who also served in combat in Vietnam as a soldier in the Marine Corps. My dad thought much of John McCain and said so on a number of occasions. My support of the Presidential Nomination of John McCain was in part a way of honoring my own father, but also a way of honoring a man who served a cause greater than himself. John truly loved America and all the way to the end. I attended the Republican Party of Florida's Convention in Orlando where I was one of a few present who were publicly supporting John. It seemed that his eventual nomination was in doubt based on the number of his supporters present there. Yet, it was of course an electric evening. May the Peace of Christ that Passes All Understanding Keep the McCain Family in His Grace to Life Eternal. Amen.
-- Jason, Florida
It was an honor to do what I could. I was there for him during his Presidential campaign. He would have been a super President. I wished that I had known him better. Prayers and GOD's comfort be with the family as you grieve. He was one of a kind. Will be missed by many.
-- peggy, Arizona
A man of class who always always always took the high road.
-- Paula, Washington
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
I appreciate John’s support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. His attendance at JDRF functions was invaluable in helping to create awareness of the need for continuing research. Thank you to the McCain family for allowing us to share our appreciation for all he did.
-- Sherry, Virginia
I have always admired his courage. I enjoyed listening to him speak and reading his life story. I love how he addressed the American people “My Friend(s)”. I can still hear his voice in my head, “county first”. I am an immigrant and I know America is exceptional because of people like John McCain.
-- Sueet, Maryland
Many of our nations problems would be solved if everyone in Washington had the integrity of Senator John McCain. - Not a Republican.
-- Brad, Maine
A man to be respected.
-- Wendy, Connecticut
HIS HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND DEVOTION TO HIS COUNTRY WILL ALWAYS BE AN INSPIRATION. MAY HE REST IN PEACE.
-- SHARON, Arizona
Senator McCain and the Governor were speaking at the VA National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona for Memorial Day services. He spoke of ISIS. Was America first early on. Thank you for your service and sacrifice to this great nation.
-- Joseph, Arizona
The only thing is to pray for him. May God RIP.
-- mafuli, Florida
I have always followed late Sen. John McCain on his performance on the floor of the senate. Will personally miss him. R.I.P
-- Ikerave, Nigeria
John McCain Was a great man. His family can rest also because he is resting in piece. now. Again John was a great man. Thanks for every thing.
-- Raymond, Rhode Island
Senator McCain had seats very near mine for the Arizona Coyote games at America West Arena. I saw him often at these games. He always had a kind word, a smile, a wave, a nod of recognition. The Country has lost a man that was its rudder in stormy seas. A man that exemplified character, sacrifice, and sense of duty to Country and family. God speed Senator McCain and may God bless your family in this trying time. We have lost you, just when we need you the most. That said, you have done your duty. Prayerfully, I hope that there are those of compassion and character that can carry on your good work. Rest in Peace, Sir.
-- Steven, Arizona
Mr. McCain was a true patriot of the American people. We will miss this great man. Peace be with you.
-- Annette, California
To the McCain family we are sorry for your lost .The Leon Session Family Much Love ????
-- Leon&Verta, Texas
Our country most definitely lost a hero. I am proud that I reside in the same state as John McCain. He will be greatly missed.
-- Lynne, 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
Heard him speak to our PAC when he was running for Senator: He mentioned that he got through his POW days by having faith in 3 things: his fellow soldiers (they would rescue him if they could); his Country (they would never forget him and they would rescue him if they could); his God (he was always with him) - I am paraphrasing what he said but I admired him greatly from that day forward. A wonderful man!!!
-- Charlotte, California
I always admired his clear stands and his military career. The US lost one of their moral leaders in a time of uncertainness. Rest in peace Salute
-- Alexander, Germany
I served as the Senator's Iowa State Chair in 2008. I regret that a health issue prevents me from joining you all on Saturday. What a remarkable human being. Prayers for the entire McCain Family; immediate and all of us. Dave Roederer Iowa
-- David, Iowa
I never had the chance to meet senator McCain, but he was a patriot and a hero who served this great country passionately both in our military and in congress. he is truly an inspiration to many and respected and loved by all. my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his wife cindy, daughter meghan and the rest of his family and friends at this difficult time.
-- charlie, New York
My sincere condolences and thanks to the McCain family for their service as well as Sen McCain's.
-- Becky, Kentucky
Well, I've followed his career ever since he stepped off the plane from Vietnam and stepped back on U.S. soil. I've always thought of Johm McCain as an American hero. I was so thankful for Meghan's expression of love for her "beloved father". What father would not want such a statement from his daughter or son after he's gone. That means a "job well done" in this life.
-- William, Texas
Man and public servant of great convictions beyond party lines, where only his conscience and the welfare of the American people had space. He fulfilled his mission as he did so many other times, now that The Great Architect of the Universe welcomes him into his kingdom.
-- Francisco, Florida
Senator McCain was an honorable man, a patriot who served our country guided by his conscience. History will remember him well. My heart goes out to his family and I pray the Lord will embrace and comfort them.
-- Candace, Delaware
Sincere condolences to the McCain family. Senator McCain was a great gentleman. An outstanding person within the human race.
-- Ellen, Belgium
Senator John McCain and his respect for the process always stood out to me. Although, I supported Barack Obama in 2008, He has always shown an excellent display of good characteristics and always stood for what he believed in regardless of being politically correct. His dedication to public service and to country is what I will always remember about him. The people of Arizona were lucky to have him as a Senator, I will miss him, I intend on reading his book and watching his past interviews. Senator McCain, I again, thank you for your service.
-- Nicholas, New Jersey
In 1982 John McCain sat down with myself and so to be wife Karen and talked to us at Temple Beth Israel. We occasionally cross ed paths again at different sporting events in the Valley of the Sun. I did volunteer work with his son Andrew at different Fiesta Bowl Events. Hopefully John McCain Name with be on different buildings throughout Arizona. Mr. McCain helped my son Nathan play football in the Down Under Bowl game in Australia in 2009. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ?? STATE OF ARIZONA ??.
-- MICHAEL, Arizona
I was lucky enough to meet him briefly on a political science field-trip to Washington D.C. He was friendly and not what I would have pictured as a political figure which seemed at odd with the busy political culture and life in the capitol. It was great to see someone so down-to-earth and not too busy to say hello and greet some college students from Bellevue, Washington.
-- Barbara, Washington
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 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
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
Dear Cindy I am so deeply sympathy your husband he is good men We'll best to your family. Love you Anthony Canale
-- Anthony, New York
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
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
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
John McCain, had he been elected President of the United States, would have not only been a very great president, he would have been able to unite the country, in spite of a hostel main stream media. There was something truly unique in John’s ability to bring any group into dialogue which ultimately benefited the whole. I’m very sad we’ve lost a leader irreplaceable in the younger generations.
-- Beth (Dorithy Elizabeth), Hawaii
Shook hands with John and his beautiful wife when I did a little work on his 2008 presidential campaign. Nice people.
-- Gilbert, California
Senator John McCain is why we stand during the National Anthem. Period. RIP John, you will be truly missed.
-- Tina, Arizona
Not a memory, but a wish! A wish that those in Congress would learn from him and share his true bipartisan integrity and humanity for all! Thank you John McCain for you service, your love of America, and for maintaining a positive, professional, and inclusive approach in a time that many others don't. To all of John McCain's family and close friends, know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of millions of grateful Americans and others around the world! God bless!
-- Craig, Illinois
A lot of respect for this true American, your honesty and social awareness. You will be deeply missed.
-- Karel and Ellen, Netherlands
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
megan McCain sorry about your dad he was the best man and president god will take care of him and rest in heaven thanks lord 2018 by joel mansfield
-- joel, Texas
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