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.
please accept my condolence
-- george, New York
Senator McCain was a true American Hero. His service to our country including the fact he could have been released from Vietnam during his capture but said no, he would not leave his fellow soldiers behind, is a show of true loyalty and courage which cannot be matched. Thank you Senator for your service during the war and thank you for your public service thereafter in Congress. America was blessed to have you.
-- John, Pennsylvania
As a Navy Vietnam Verteran you were and will always be my personal hero. I share the sadness with your family. We have lost one of great ones. God Bless
-- Robert, New York
Senator John McCain I want to thank you for your heroic service to our Great country. My political viewpoints may differ than yours but I admire you and truly believe that if there was anyone who can make a difference it was you sir. I hope your examples in life willl continue to inspire people with political differences to have respect and integrity for each other. God bless you
-- Patrick, Florida
My wife and I first met Senator McCain and his wife in 2007 in Dover, NH at a small intimate gathering unique to NH's place in politics, as he began his 2008 Presidential bid. As he shook hands with the small crowd we mentioned our son was in Iraq, and was supportive of his policies for that region. Senator McCain seemed genuinely interested, and Cindy spent more than a few moments chatting with my wife, mentioning their son would be deploying soon. We became volunteer works on Senator McCain's campaign (the first and only time we've felt the need to do that)) and as such had a few occasions to speak with him. Amazingly, he always remembered to ask about our son. We found him to be a genuine and thoughtful person. A true American who's life's impact will reverberate well into the future. Thoughts and prayers for family.
-- Mark & Deb, New Hampshire
I remember him in Peterborough N.H. the night before the 2008 election.
-- Stephen, Massachusetts
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
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 Senator John McCain for your support of the military.
-- Msg David, Texas
I lost my big role model!
-- Chris, Germany
I remember him as being a truly honorable man whom loved and worked hard at serving and protecting his country. We need more such MEN. My condolences to his family and all whom cared for him.
-- Martha, Washington
thank you for your service to our country both in the military and senate! my sympathy to the McCain family
-- Arlene, Mississippi
A true American Hero He will be missed.
-- Jerome Denise, Arizona
I met Sen. McCain in 1997 during my tenure as Chairman of the RNHA. It was a priviledge to count on him and his staff to engage in different issues related to our Hispanic community for four years. He never said no, his doors were always open and was always ready to step forward. Later, in 2008, I had the honor to be his Delegate at the National Convention held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Always an Officer and a Gentleman! He will be missed. RIP Captain John McCain, USN (Ret)
-- Jose, Virginia
I did not personally meet Mr. McCain, but my son did when we lived at Dobson Ranch in the early 1980s. John had an office in the ABCO shopping center. One day, my son and his friend were riding bikes behind the stores when they spotted a pallet of soda at the back of McCain's office. Being young boys they started to take some soda, when John came out. Instead of yelling at the boys, he offered them each a soda. My son always remembered that little incident!
-- Joy, Arizona
I was honored to have met the Senator when he came to our community during his run for the Presidency. He was a man that I respected very much. Even though he was a little young, he was one of the GREATEST GENERATION of soldiers who fought for this country, a country he truly loved. He will be missed.
-- John, Florida
Thank you for putting our country first.
-- Boyer, Ohio
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
Not just a geat American, but a grand human being.
-- Shelly, Texas
John McCain, thank you sir.
-- Al, Washington
I worked on the last mccain campaign and I will never forget how much he respected his opponents. He was a class act and spoke well of all- even those who did not return the respect. Thank you Senator for teaching us was kindness and virtue looked like.
-- D, Arizona
I extend my most Sincere Sympathy to Senator McCain's family and friends from the Deep South of Louisiana. As a Brother Vietnam Army Veteran, John made sure that our military was ready to defend America. His time in the country of Vietnam and his sacrifices there cannot be measured, but by God alone. We all have a lot to learn from his courage and wisdom. He was also a great friend and supporter of Firefighters and 1st Responders everywhere. He truly left our Country a better place. Godspeed my Brother!!!
-- Chief Michael, Louisiana
Senator McCain always spoke with clear conscience, and did the right thing for the country. He is the one that makes America great.
-- Patrick, Texas
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
Senator Mccain was a true hero and statesman. He will be missed by American citizens. I"m so sorry for your loss.
-- diane, Florida
I voted for John Mc Cain for President. His words " A steady hand at the tiller " propelled me forward. Yes Sir.
-- Oscar, Texas
My late uncle was a prisoner of war. I honor all those that fought for our country and fell under battle or were taken prisoner or are still mission in action. They are the true heroes of America. Rest in peace.
-- sandi, Rhode Island
People like John McCain are what truly make America great!
-- Kippi, Tennessee
From one sailor to another. Fair winds and calm seas. I may not have always agreed with you but I have always respected you.
-- MARK, Arizona
I really want to extend my most heartfelt sympathy to Sen. McCain's family. While I didn't always agree with his politics, I ALWAYS admired his integrity, honor, and humility. It makes his loss doubly sorrowful in the political climate of today. While I didn't know him personally, I feel confident that he was a truly good man all the way down to his soul. I believe we can all learn something from his life, and we should strive to be as true a person as he was. And again, my deepest sympathy to all of his family. He will be missed.
-- Sheri, California
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND WHAT YOU STOOD FOR. AND THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT IS RIGHT. I AM PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY. YOU WILL BE GREATLY MISS. I AM A DEMCRAT AND IWILL MISS YOU
-- PEGGY, Michigan
Thank You John for setting the example for our future generations to follow, that Country over Politics is Honorable. That owning your shortfalls and striving to do better is not a weakness, but a strength. Most importantly is the fact that you demonstrated what is meant by Duty, Honor, and Country. Thank You Sir...
-- Gerald, Michigan
He was an honorable man, so much admired for his kindness, honesty and decency. Senator McCain was very much loved by many.
-- Gwen, Missouri
He was simply, my hero...
-- Dianne, Michigan
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
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
and this the power family I m send though my senator McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled 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 johns 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 johns life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving this world a better place for generations to come the McCain family
-- ashley, Florida
I am a WA State democrat and my heart aches for this country's loss. John McCain set an example for each of us - to be true to yourself while respecting and honoring others as well. God bless him and his family.
-- Cindy, Washington
Supported John in both his runs for the Presidency and almost volunteered to go to South Carolina to work in the campaign in 2008. Wish I had so I may have got a chance to meet him and thank him for his service to this country
-- Andy, North Carolina
Thank you for your service to our country! Speaking up on issues when it was not so popular! You arrived in Heaven and God said well done my son! Prayers to the family during this most difficult time.
-- Rosalind, Georgia
I related to Senator McCain because he was different from most in Congress. He put values and beliefs before political affiliations. He was the best within us. I am sad at our loss but rejoice that he will be rewarded and welcomed in heaven.
-- Jane, Tennessee
Great Leader,our country will surely miss his leadership.Condolenses to his family.
-- Johnsie, North Carolina
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
I had the honor of being a delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention. I enjoyed meeting Senator McCain there and remain proud to have helped nominate him for President.
-- David, Georgia
I did not have the privilege of meeting Sen. McCain, but I have known his story for a long time. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Our country has lost a true patriot and hero.
-- Susan, Texas
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
McCain Patriarch. American. Patriot. My-Kind-Of-Republican. Proverbs 31:8. Combative. Collaborator . Humble. Noble. Funny. Unpredictable. Honorable. Character. Intellectually Sovereign. Solid. Scrupled. Passionate. Unique. Tenacious. Unequivocal. Bookish. Incontrovertible. Steadfast. Vodka Snob. Charming. .........So Missed.
-- M, 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
Honor to a great Hero
-- Eduardo R., Florida
From on Veteran to another Veteran, My deep condolences to the McCain’s family. My respect and salute to a Veteran.
-- Kevin, Virginia
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