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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.


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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.

To the McCain family; My families deepest respect to the TRUE PATRIOT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. History speaks for itself, and John McCain stands alone in his accomplishments. He would have made a historic president, but still took care of business for the common people. We are truly proud of the service your family committed to our country. THANK YOU

-- Doug, California

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

I met Senator McCain when he was on the campaign trail in NH. I attended his town hall meeting in Wolfeboro, NH. I asked him if he would wear my son’s memorial bracelet. I know he has worn it since that day. This country has lost a true hero and patriot. I am proud to call him a friend! He will be sadly missed.

-- Lynn, Kentucky

John, Senator. You always be a giant among man kind. May you rest in peace in Heaven. Love you.

-- Francois, Idaho

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

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

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

Thank you sir for every thing you did for this great country you will be missed god bless .

-- mike, Washington

I just want to thank Mr. McCain for his service to our country and the trials he endured for the country he loved. My sympathies to his family. May he now rest in the peace that God has for him. Thank you for your courage.

-- Sharon, Louisiana

To the McCain family we are sorry for your lost .The Leon Session Family Much Love ????

-- Leon&Verta, Texas

Thank you.

-- Victor, Arizona

I will always be reminded of John McCain, because of his daughter Megan who will shine in the shadow of her father.... is a remarkable intellect, and is able to articulate so clearly the attributes that make a legend in US history. I am hoping she will rise up, and follow in her fathers footsteps.

-- Karen, California

thank you, Sir. and thank you, Cindy and family, for so generously sharing your husband/father/grandfather with us. it's been a trying journey, and your strength and faith inspire us, too. much love, and the peace of the Lord be with you at this time, and always.

-- Marie-Elizabeth, Arizona

Then Congressman McCain’s office was next to my Member Bob Davis in Longworth HOB, circa 1983-85. I was Bob’s press secretary and we became friends with John and his staff. He was a regular guy and would exchange pleasantries in the hallway and the adjoining restroom. Each office had a restroom for the Member, but John would frequent the staff facility like it was no big deal. He treated us with friendly banter and one of the guys. I’ve been a fan ever since.

-- Paul, Michigan

Thank you for your service John McCain. Heart breaking, so sad!

-- John, California

John McCain: An Honest, Loving, and Honorable Man. He was A Man of Strength, Integrity, Bravery and Faith. He had a wonderful sense of Humor and they say, "he had a bit of a temper"! Bless You John, You will be incredibly missed by Your Family and Friends. Your "Foes" won't know where to find a "Fair Honest Fight"!! A Life Fully and Well Lived...Rest now....C. Sue Collins

-- Connie, California

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

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 saw Senator McCain on Hilton Head Island, SC...he was so dynamic and funny. I have a son who is a Cmdr. in the Navy and I know that Mr. McCain was one of his influences. My thanks, most especially to his family...they sacrificed a great deal for him to do his work for us, bless you during this very difficult time.

-- Toni, Texas

Senator John McCain is why we stand during the National Anthem. Period. RIP John, you will be truly missed.

-- Tina, Arizona

Thanks for your service. From a Viet Nam veteran and welcome home.

-- glenn, Georgia

Sorry for your loss

-- Joan, New York

Thank you for your honorable service Sir. You will be greatly missed.

-- Cathy, California

A great American statesman and hero. I have admired him throughout his career. I have retired from the USAF as a Colonel and honor him for the sacrifices he has made for his country.

-- Bruce, Indiana

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

Here is what I said to the US Senate Armed Services Committee at my confirmation hearing last November. "Senator McCain and other members of the SASC, it is an honor to be here. It is humbling to be considered for this position and I thank Secretary Mattis and the President for placing their trust and confidence in me. Senator McCain- as a young Air Force officer going through Aerospace Medicine Primary and SERE training in the early 1980’s, one of your fellow POW’s who spoke to our class mentioned your name as an exemplar of courage and integrity and I have always looked up to you." I meant every word. After I read this, Sen. McCain quietly said, "Thank you..."

-- Dean, California

God Bless John McCain. He was a true American Patriot and served our country extremely well. May he rest in eternal peace in The House of The Lord.

-- Stephen, New Jersey

My deepest sympathy to the family. We have lost a. great hero and statesman.

-- Joseph, Connecticut

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

In awe of his amazing service to this country! Well done. Prayers for comfort and lasting memories of laughter for all.

-- Sonya, Maryland

I never met John McCain, but it looks like he cared a lot about the American People, He spoke up about the what was right and wrong about politics, He voted in the house about which way to go about each bill the way it was planned out, God Bless you RIP John McCain, our condolences goes out to the family, Thank you for your service.

-- Melanie, Arizona

I am so thankful for Senator McCain's service and sacrifice for our country. I have appreciated his communication through the years when I reached out to him even though I wasn't from Arizona. We are keeping your family in our prayers!

-- Ken, Arkansas

I just plain miss him....I had much interaction with him over the years and I just plain miss him ...there was never anyone like him and never will be...

-- Greta, Washington, D.C.

I loved John and will miss him I love Cindy A great team of 2 extraordinary people

-- Barbara, New York


-- RICHARD, Massachusetts

Senator John McCain was a human being that honored his work to do good for others. When I met him, Senator McCain was modest and sincere man. One of the few true heroes of our country. Best regards to Cindy and the McCain family, Hon. C. WS Kim

-- Charles WS, Illinois

John, May you Rest In Peace in heaven with God! You lived a life that shows the world what American is about! May God bless your family!

-- Jack, California

To a man that has held our flag high all of his life. God Bless and Keep you in his arms

-- James, Ohio

I became a citizen on this Great Nation over ten years ago. I am leaving the American dream, but this dream will be not possible without true heroes like Senator McCain. Thank you Senator McCain for being a true hero and your service. Thank you for being a great example that I can learn many thing to became myself a better citizen of this great nation. I wish that I could meet you and tell you how much I admired you. God Bless your family and those that serve this country.

-- Carlo, Arizona

God bless John McCain. We will miss you.

-- Jane, Pennsylvania

Sympathy and admiration from a veteran and his spouse. Our country has lost an extraordinary and inimitable life. Rest in peace to a heroic soul.

-- Vito, Georgia

He was an honorable man, so much admired for his kindness, honesty and decency. Senator McCain was very much loved by many.

-- Gwen, Missouri

Happy trails good friend till we meet again! Rest well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Thomas N, Arizona

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

Sen . John McCain you will be miss I just cane not get over your last words to us all. God Speed John McCain Thank you for your Service

-- Alma, Ohio

RIP John McCain . You have truly set the bar, and no more need be said. Peter

-- Peter, 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

Senator John McCain rest in peace you are truly missed God bless and may he cradle you in his arms

-- Kevin Michael, Arizona

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

I met Senator McCain at a book signing ceremony in Houston, TX. It was a honor for me to to meet with this officer and gentleman. RIP Senator McCain. My deepest condolences to Senator McCain’s family.

-- Bathiya, New York

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.