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.
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
My sympathy for the loss of a good man.
-- Cindy, Michigan
It is my prayer we find someone with your honesty and competence to lead and govern us. God bless you!
-- Steven, Arizona
-- michael, Georgia
I humbly come before you God, asking that you bless and comfort his family and his extended family in the United States Senate as well as his beloved Navy. Welcome this patriot into the Gates of Heaven; and give him a hero's homecoming and may both Admiral McCain Sr. and McCain Jr. be present along with every military member who has passed before him rendering the much deserved hand salute. And with the final words O' Lord, say the honorable words, "Welcome home thy good and faithful servant, welcome home". Senator McCain sir, You have fought the good fight, and you have claimed your mountain in the United States Senate and in the State of Arizona. Rest easy sir. We'll take the watch from here. #HandSalute
-- Nolan, Texas
John McCain and I flew, on the A4 Skyhawk , from NAS Cecil Field, Florida to KINGSVILLE, TEXAS; he was speaking to future Navy pilots. The Sky Hawk was the type of airplane he flew in the Navy; I will never forget his smile after making a perfect landing back at Cecil Field. We enjoyed our flight and enjoyed the hoagie in Texas before we flew back to Florida. Then Itold him, "You will be making Admal and given a Carrier to command." To my surprise, I saw him on TV as Senetore of Arizona. He answered. "Alfredo, I am going into politics" When I found out he was a Senetor, I said " when he says he will do something; he does it. me he was going into polytecs. WHERE he was giving a conference. was giving at Kingsville Texas. We flew out of NAVAL AIR STATION CECIL, FL.
-- Alfredo, Florida
I know a true hero and patriot when I see one. Thank you, Senator McCain, for your valued service to the country we both love! Rest In Peace!
-- Roz, Georgia
Great, great man!! He had steel backbone and and was a model of principled leadership. Service to God and country before self. He was from the fabric all leaders should aspire to be made of.
-- MATTHEW, Virginia
A great American Citizen
-- Wulf, Germany
"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
Iconic example of "A good man"
-- Leo, New Zealand
Dear All, We are Canadian but have watched with great respect over many, many years how Senator McCain unflinchingly always chose the correct and most positive road for American citizens and America, often disregarding partisan politics. America, and more especially his loved family, have lost a truly great Patriot, husband and father, and person who cared selflessly for the greater good. Not only has America, but the World, has lost a person that we all loved. Our thoughts go out to the McCain family and all Americans who identified with his always most laudable causes. Gob Bless John, his family and America.
-- Norman, Canada
He was truly man of his word. He greatly be missed.. I salute you my brother of the military. RIP
-- Monica, Georgia
In awe of his amazing service to this country! Well done. Prayers for comfort and lasting memories of laughter for all.
-- Sonya, Maryland
Senator John S. McCain: Thank you so much for your service to our Country. Your memory, and all you have done in your life will be in my heart and mind forever. You were a great man and will be an inspiration for others.
-- David, New York
wow he will be sadly missed a great man who put his country and its people first .
-- chris, Australia
please accept my condolence
-- george, New York
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
I didn't know him. Sent some emails. I supported his presidential run. Truly sad to hear this recent news.
-- Fatbardh, New Jersey
Trusted Statesman. Thank you for your dedication and your service. Barbra a democrat
-- Barbra, Illinois
I will always remember Sen. John McCain's passion to always do what he felt was right for Americans everywhere. John McCain fought for and risked his life for this nation, and I will never forget that. I have no doubt that the Senator will be welcomed into Heaven and will be greeted with open arms.
-- Aidan, Pennsylvania
He did a great job and will be missed. My prayers and thoughts for the McCain family.
-- Maria, Delaware
Thank you for everything Senator McCain. I will always be grateful for your service and for repairing US-Vietnam relations.
-- Peter, California
I just like him, without reservation, one of a kind human being who brings up high the core value we all shall fight to keep.
-- Helen, Canada
thank you for your service to our country both in the military and senate! my sympathy to the McCain family
-- Arlene, Mississippi
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
He was a gentleman and a man of dignity. Serving his country with respect.
-- Cathy, Georgia
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
I lived on the site of his bombing target in Hanoi (2015-2016) next to the lake he landed in. Everyday I walked past his memorial - John McCain, Air Force! The Vietnamese could not understand how a man flying was not in the Air Force. I visited Hoa Lo (Hanoi Hilton) often and found the display of his rescue photos heart wrenching. I have always had absolute respect for John McCain. For his service, his leadership, his willingness to do what's right even if it costs, and for his candor. God Bless John McCain and may he rest in richly deserved peace.
-- Karen, Pennsylvania
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
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
He is a true American hero and statesman. I met with him a couple of times to encourage his support for certain legislation. He was polite and respectful even though he saw things differently. I was impressed by his attentiveness and his thoughtful explanation about why he would not support it.. He made a difference to our country. Politicians can learn much by paying attention to his passion for placing the country first. Rest In Peace, you great man.
-- Albert, Arizona
My sister and I went to A book signing at University of FL. He was overwhelming gracious and humble to the long line of people that were there. There were a lot tears shed that day. He was an American Hero. He was certainly one of mine.
-- Vicki, Florida
I have always admired John McCain's courage and strength of character. We owe him a debt of gratitude, one we could never repay. Thank you for a lifetime of service to our country...for the example of patriotism and citizenship you have demonstrated. To the McCain family, I mourn with you and will be praying for you during these difficult days. Your husband and father will love on in our hearts and American spirit. May God's peace and comfort be yours. What a man...what a legacy John McCain leaves behind...a true American hero...my hero! Not many would give their lives for people they don't even know...yet John Mc Cain gave it all willingly. Thank you...forever grateful!
-- Pam, Florida
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
When my late husband Carlos Apodaca passed Mr McCain was the only one who would listen to me and helped me get his benefits. After 4 years of fighting and getting nowhere he did it in six months. I will forever be grateful to him. You could see he was a kind and loving man who loved his Country and the people. May God rest his soul in peace and keep his family strong. I am sure he left a great legacy behind. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
-- Mary L, Arizona
We remember him,he was a great hero
-- Ramon, Florida
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
I served in Vietnam. Your legacy will inspire the young men and women thinking about entering the military and flying aircraft. Your unselfish position, and willing to sacrifice your life on behalf of the soldiers on the ground is appreciated. Your gallantry in action saved many lives, like myself. Mr. McCain, know that we will always love you, respect you and pray for you and your beautiful family!
-- Carlos, Texas
I did not know John McCain personally, but loved his sense of honor and integrity. My father was a Marine and taught me to always be honorable and stand up for what I believed in. I lost him at 81 years old and was very close to him. Married to Vietnam veteran also. This brave man will be missed and I know my Dad would have written too. God Bless him and Mrs. McCain and family Ruthie
-- Ruthie, New Jersey
Shook hands with John and his beautiful wife when I did a little work on his 2008 presidential campaign. Nice people.
-- Gilbert, California
Thank you so much your help our country, We miss you
-- Van, Maryland
Senator John McCain was an American patriot who served his country with distinction and became a hero to many, including myself, through his selfless actions, placing his country above his personal ambitions . I was proud to have purchased his signed memoir in 2008 and I will treasure it to my dying days and pass it on to future generations. My deep condolences go his family and godspeed John in your new journey.
-- Luis, California
Mr. McCain is a true hero. When viewing my own life it doesn't even compare to his. He will always be a hero of mine.
-- Shane, Michigan
We were very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of John McCain's courage, patriotism, and principled politics. May God bless John McCain and his family.
-- Robert, Maryland
Thank you for your years of dedication to the United States, your commitment to uphold the Constitution and contributions for human rights. You will be missed. God Speed Senator.
-- Tedi, Texas
I have admired John McCain for years I remember when he was a POW and how courageous he was during this time. Our country needs more people like with who serve our country. His honesty and fairness needs to be more prevalent. May he Rest In Peace and be remember for the hero he was to our country.
-- Elaine, Pennsylvania
Senator John McCain was a true American hero and a champion for All people. He made the world a better place through his actions and words. Rest In Peace, Senator.
-- Stephen, 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
Senator McCain is a true American hero. Inspirational and a fresh breath of air in a polluted political circle. May God welcome home his child. Que Dios lo bendiga!
-- Jorge, New York
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