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.
My Deepest Sympathy to the family..He was truly a protector of our Freedom..He is now a Heavenly Angel ..
-- RoseAnn, Pennsylvania
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
I met Senator McCain three times, once at a campaign rally in 2000 which is memorialized with a photo of him with me and my wife. We met more privately two other times where we discussed Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. I knew I was in the presence of an American patriot. At a time when are challenged at home and abroad his ,eacership will be sorely missed.
-- David, New Mexico
One of my proudest moments was speaking for him at the Iowa Caucus, and then voting for him, against all odds that fall. I will always believe that the issues we are struggling with today would not have been so extreme or intractable had he won in 2008. I would have followed him into fire if he had asked. He spent 6 years in a box in Asia, for me, my family and this country. Godspeed.
-- Charles, Iowa
My husband, a retired Vet, died of Alzheimer's in 2016. But when he was still clear of mind and could speak, he would constantly speak about Senator McCain and his strength, honesty and gentle personality. He didn't know the Senator personally. But it was a great comfort to him that Senator McCain "was there to help us all". Comfort to all of the McCain Family. He can now rest among the heroes.
-- Marie A., Virginia
A am very sad over the loss of a great wonderful man. He will be so missed this incredible man.
-- Jill, Arizona
I meet him in maybe 2001 in the AZ airport gift shop. I asked for a photo and his daughter Megan took it. We took a few since I am a blinker. Back then a regular camera so had to wait till I was back in Texas to develop. I called my mom from a pay phone to tell her.
-- Shelly, Texas
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
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 John McCain represented the values and character that strengthened the very foundation of our democracy. Judy and I , are joined by are entire family in sending our sympathy and love. I willl never forget campaigning with the Senatorhis unswerving path of love for America,enduring optimism,and unfailing,though occasionally biting humor. How blessed to have known him and have him put “my friend” befor my name.
-- Lew and Judy, Florida
July 4th, 2017, Senator John McCain and a few of his colleagues came to Kabul, Afghanistan to visit with American Service personnel serving far away from home. He could have been anywhere, but he was there with us, and of course made special time for the Navy Sailors stationed there. He pinned the rank of LTCOL on a friend and promoted several others as well. We were far away from home, but having Senator McCain there with us made everything better. Because he was there, we felt at home and a hope he did too.
-- CDR Jim, Virginia
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
Senator John McCain admirably employed his abilities improving the state of Arizona and his country USA.
-- Mildred, New York
As a fellow Naval aviator and Marine Corps pilot John may you rest in peace I flew 369 missions in Vietnam and I honor the service that you gave both in your flying skills and your courage to withstand the torture that you had to undergo I rescued many down Pilots as well as many marines Army and others I wish you the very best God bless you and may you rest in peace go navy blue Semper Fi
-- Thomas, Indiana
Trusted Statesman. Thank you for your dedication and your service. Barbra a democrat
-- Barbra, Illinois
I feel grateful for service and his love of family and his country
-- Betty, Oregon
John McCain was the greatest man of his generation. Also. of mine.
-- Tim, Maryland
God blessed us by sharing this Great Honorable man with us We are so much better for it .Deepest condolences to his family .His memory will Iive on.
-- Wayne, New York
It was my honor to work for the Senator, 18+ years. He always listened to what staff had to say, even if it was a different opinion. I respected and admired him greatly. RIP
-- Deborah, Arizona
John McCain was a hero from the Vietnam war and I admired him.
-- LaVonne, South Dakota
One of America’s true heroe’s . He will be truly missed by everyone. May God bless his family & give them comfort with beautiful memories.
-- Pam, Florida
To a man that has held our flag high all of his life. God Bless and Keep you in his arms
-- James, Ohio
Always proud of John every time we read about or listened to him on TV. He was not a great American...He was one of the Greatest Americans. He loved his family, his Senate and House friends, co-workers and the American people. Saddened by his capture, being a prisoner of war and always listening to news of him through those years. One of our happiest days was when he was released. God bless you and you family. You too are remarkable! We loved John McCain! He can never be replaced.??????????
-- William and Michele, Illinois
Thank you so much your help our country, We miss you
-- Van, Maryland
I ran into John several times in the early AM hours at Sky Harbor Airport. He was always quick with a smile to match my own. A great American. A great man. May his memory be blessed.
-- Jeff, Arizona
R E S P E C T- one word that embodies John McCain and all he stands for.
-- Cornelia, Georgia
We remember him,he was a great hero
-- Ramon, Florida
I never personally met John McCain... yet, because of how he lived politically and how he bore true suffering at his captors hands because he couldn’t leave before his turn... I have always deeply respected him. I feel like our country has lost a marker and standard of honor with his passing. I will miss his ‘maveric’ style and his obvious desire for Country first during decisions in the Senate. All of us are better people for having had the glimpse of a man like him. God Bless the family of Senator John McCain, and thank you for sharing him with me.
-- Nancy, Washington
A man who seemed to care. A man with a sense of humor. He had my vote as a person I could ask to be my representative.
-- Scott, Virginia
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, a name that simply means the utmost respect for God, Country, And Honor! I have always Admired this man and will never forget him. Thank you for your service to us all! May God show you and your family the love and respect that you have shown us all your entire life and beyond! Your legacy will live forever ??
-- Kay, Arizona
I am a great admire of John S. McCain. God bless him! My condolences to his family.
-- Guillermo, Florida
Citizen – hero – patriot
-- Citizen – hero – patriot, New Jersey
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
I passed Mr. McCain in a terminal at Reagan National in fall of 2008 before the election. I said “Good Luck!” and he acknowledged with a nod and thumbs up. We appreciate his service. I’m sorry for your loss.
-- Victor, North Carolina
I’m at a loss for words tonight. Both in the midst of war and in the halls of Washington, Senator McCain's dedication to our country never faltered. In this era of talking heads and 24-hour news cycles, John McCain reminded us that we are not defined by our divisions or our disagreements but by our common bond as Americans. We can never replace him but we can honor him by continuing his mission. Thank you, Senator. hashtag#countryfirst
-- Maya, Washington, D.C.
Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate, you stand relieved, We have the watch. To one of my heros! Who was an exceptional American, hero and leader! -RIP John McCain. Go Navy!
-- Courtney, Minnesota
THE SENATORWAS SPEAKING IN AKRON, OHIO AT THE HILTON HOTEL.WE PASSED EACHOTHER IN THE HALL. I THANKED HIM FOR HIS SUPPORT OF ISRAEL,AND HE SAID"DON'T WORRY".WE SHOOK HANDS.
-- HARVEY, Ohio
Served as his Director of Black Engagement 2008 Presidential Campaign, he loved my Caribbean chicken soup, saw him at CHC club 2017, I said sir it was my honor, he said no it was mine. Thank you for the opportunity, HBCU support, and the many quite things that you did.
-- CJ, Virginia
My family and I first heard about Senator John McCain running for the 2008 Presidential elections. Were were visiting Minneapolis/St. Paul 10 years ago to attend the State Fair and had no idea the Republican National Convention was being held the same time we were there. We have heard Senator McCain speak on television during this convention and noted his admiration for his country and his devotion to his family. Even though we are from Canada, we took note of how Senator McCain spoke eloquently and how humble he was, even after his election loss. To the people of Arizona and to the McCain Family we offer our heartfelt condolences. God Bless you all.
-- Andrew, Canada
Thank you for your service in the US Navy, Sir. You were a true hero!
-- Cathy, North Carolina
I have followed John McCain's career since I was 16 years old from the late '70's. I recognized his devotion to his fellow countrymen and personal honor. He will always be an inspiration to me and an example of a great American. May your soul be at rest.
-- Scott, California
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
A TRUE AMERICAN HERO AND A TRUE PUBLIC SERVANT MAY HIS MEMORY BE A BLESSING B'SHALOM
-- RICHARD, Massachusetts
I met the character of John McCain within the pages of his book, Faith of My Fathers, well-matched with his conduct as a man. It describes the ground of his action and the enduring worth of his cherished commitments. Whatever shortcomings each person exercises in life or fame which endures, it is the reason for it that all makes sense. Their works do follow them. Rest in Peace.
-- Herbert, California
Few people accepted the call to duty that others ran from. You are a man that was for the people and for this country. I am grateful for your sacrifice and your families. Thank you. May God bless you and your family
-- Pam, Louisiana
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
Three years ago I had the privilege of meeting Senator McCain at Regan Airport. He was gracious and cordial when we talked. I may not have agreed with him on everything but never ceased to admire him for standing for his principles and his dedication to our Country. Well done faithful servant.
-- Barbara, Indiana
I like John McCain, I wish I had meet him and his family.
-- David, Texas
my feelings for the loss of this freedom hero
-- Luis, Brazil
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