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 honor of being Sen McCain's co chair of his Jewish Advisory Council 08. I am also the McCippah lady. I'm glad I got to know and help him. He will be missed by so many for his honesty and candor. Sleep well Senator!
-- Judy, Pennsylvania
America is a better place because of Senator John McCain.
-- Our Family, Washington
I was proud to have met Senator McCain a few years back and performed for John and Cindy at their ranch a few years back with one of my old rock n roll bands at their ranch. He was and will be remembered as a great hero of all American people and an iconic individual who's lifetime of public service to all and especially people of Arizona!! I am proud to have worked and still work for Hensley Beverage Company.We will all miss you and send condolences to your beautiful family!!
-- Fred, Arizona
Thank you for your service. Until we form again. Frank
-- franklin, Tennessee
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.
Just wanted to share my interactions with Senator McCain. When I was 16, I was a page in the US Senate (100th Congress, 2nd session). McCain was still very early in his first term. He was incredibly nice to all the pages. We loved him. He would keep candy in his desk on the senate floor, and have one of the Cloak Room staffers keep it filled with candy for us (and others). We affectionately called him the "Candy Man." Seriously, I loved that guy. One of the nicest senators I interacted with.
-- Chris, Arizona
He was the first person I ever contributed to for president and I was a dem at that time....he stood out for our country and military. ..He is sorely missed!
-- David, Illinois
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
Heartfelt sympathies to the entire McCain family. A true Maverick willing to help others even those he never met. Thank you for your service, celebration and humility.
-- Kathleen, Florida
John McCain was the greatest man of his generation. Also. of mine.
-- Tim, Maryland
A real American. One of a kind. So long.
-- Dave, Florida
To the family of our Senator McCain : Thank you for share with us a Great Human Being. Rest in Peace Beloved Senator.
-- Ana, New York
John McCain was a hero from the Vietnam war and I admired him.
-- LaVonne, South Dakota
Thank you, Senator McCain.
-- Wendy, Arizona
Every one Loved John
-- Floyd, Arizona
I like John McCain, I wish I had meet him and his family.
-- David, Texas
Although my Polítical Ideologies were diferent I always admired the History and nobility that Transpired from Sen. McCain. Someone who clearly had the love for his Country and Fellow Citizens needed by any Leader. His Force and his legacy are inspirational to any one in the World! I'll look up for his legacy for years to come. America lost his Last True Hero. May God guards His Soul in Peace.
-- Gonçalo, Portugal
RIP fellow Vietnam Veteran. We met during your 2008 campaign and I was hopeful you would win the presidency. But it was not to be. Blue skies and tailwinds fellow pilot.
-- clyde, Michigan
We mourn the loss of Senator McCain, one of this nation's greatest citizens. A true patriot. May he continue to watch over the Senate and this country. Most sincere condolences to his family and others who loved him and were inspired by him.
-- Evan, Delaware
We‘ll never forget him as a fighter for freedom and democracy! Trump would like to win a war (we hope there will be no war). The free world won the most important war against aggressive cominism as to the strength primarily of USA. Senator John McCain always was a supporter of the transatlantic friend- and partnership. He was himself a very strong soldier and was almost tortured to death in his fight for freedom and justice! We cannot say thankyou enough and will never forget him. All the best wherever you are ( to be sure a good place) Mr. Senator McCain !!!
-- Klaus from Germany, Germany
Sen. McCain is a tremendous loss to this country. He was a national treasure, and it’s a good thing that he stood for things bigger than himself because those things outlived him. We still have what was most important about him: the fruits of a committed life. As a retired Marine, I salute you, sir!
-- Will, California
It was my privilege to serve as Senator McCains Finance Chairman in S.C. for his Presidential Campaign. I did so because of his love for our Country and his determination to lead every American in contributing to our mission to defend and protect this great nation. He showed us how to act and we will always love him for his depth of character and ability.
-- Robert, South Carolina
Had Honor to meet this GREAT man prior to the Ronald Regan Presidents Dinner (D.C), Sen. McCain gave us a Photograph we will cherish, it's my wife with me & Sen. McCain, "Carolyn is the Rose between two thorns" I tell this story too many. This picture will be on display in our AZ vacation home. Our Nation has loss a Hero, & Icon of Freedom. We loved him & Honor his memory. We plan to attend the AZ service about 7 hours from Ca...God bless him & Family.
-- Frank X, California
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
Because of Senator McCain, I feel there is always hope in humanity. I am very grateful for your contribution to good of mankind. You will be missed always!
-- Tin, Wisconsin
A tender touch, hardly felt but with a widespread impact. John McCain’s work on leadership is far reaching like a fire in a wild wind. McCain's character of selfless devotion to country & global influence is empowering next generation leaders worldwide.
-- Mira, Sierra Leone
Dear Senator, Thank you for your service to our country. May you rest in peace.
-- Jordan, Massachusetts
John McCain's courage inspired me to face my own cancer diagnosis.
-- Kathryn, Washington
The senator was a friend of Bulgaria! R.I.P!
-- Stoyko, Bulgaria
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
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 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
John McCain, John McCain Hero, idol, eternal swain You lived an active life, nobly You will be missed by all, greatly.
-- mumtaz, Bangladesh
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
Thank You so Very Much. Bryan Brinegar
-- Bryan, California
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
As just an ordinary citizen on the other side of the political spectrum, I didn't always agree with Senator McCain. But I admired his tenacity, his blatant love of the USA, his devotion to its citizens and his ability to work with the other side of the aisle (sometimes going against his own party's stance) to achieve meaningful legislation. He was one of the old guard who demonstrated integrity, wit and straight talk. The world was a better place with him in it and be assured his legacy will live on. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us. My sincerest condolences.
-- Renee, Florida
I wanted to share an impressionable moment I experienced as a Legislative Assistant for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) and meeting the late Senator. The year was 1990 and I was a 21 year old working for the legendary Judy Park who had worked w/ Senator McCain to defeat the Medicare Catastrophic Prevention Act. Judy invited me to a lunch honoring Senator McCain along with maybe a dozen people and she said to me, "Senator McCain was a true friend to federal retirees. This is an experience you will never forget." And she was right. He will be sorely sorely missed.
-- Lisa, Illinois
Dear family members of the late U.S Senator John McCain, All members of Tam Bao Temple in Baton Rouge, Louisiana we send our condolences as well as compassionate energy to show love and highly respect to you and all your family members. Without doubt, you have created a wonderful life for U.S citizens. You have also dedicated to support many Vietnamese political prisoners as well as to make a new chapter for both nations; Vietnam and America. Your contributions will be forever in our hearts. Our sincerest condolences, Tam Bao Temple Thich Dao Quang
-- Thay, Louisiana
John Sidney McCain III exemplified to the highest degree the ideal of fortiter, fideliter, feliciter--bravely, faithfully, cheerfully. He was a man of honor and decency. He set the standard to which all should aspire and by which all should be measured.
-- Benjamin, South Carolina
Thank you for your service to our country, and for sharing your remarkable life with all Americans. Peace, and safe travels.
-- Greg, Wisconsin
Godspeed Senator McCain.
-- Stanley, Maryland
God Bless You Senator McCain. May you rest in peace and may the country you so heroically fought for find its way back from the current darkness- just like you would’ve wanted.
-- John, Colorado
John McCain was a Wonderful Statesman for our country. My husband Barry Starr always had the greatest respect for him. His heart was always in the right place, he was professional, courageous and we are lucky to have had him representing us through the many years. I wish Peace and Wonderful Memories for his family, loved ones and friends.
-- Gayle, Arizona
Thank you for everything Senator McCain. I will always be grateful for your service and for repairing US-Vietnam relations.
-- Peter, California
My friend simpre always Leo
-- Juan Leo, Maryland
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 sacrifice and service. You endured more than we could ever know. I appreciated your honesty and truth....even though I may not have always agreed. I supported and voted for you in 2008 because of you love of country and honesty. Rest in peace sir! Prayers for the entire McCain family as you grieve the loss of this great man. May God and Americans wrap you in hugs and prayers. May God Bless America!
-- Chris, Ohio
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
Senator McCain's office helped us establish a website to help veterans with whatever their needs maybe and then turn it into an app for use on their phones. His memory will always live in the hearts of the veterans that he has helped in our community.
-- John, Ohio
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