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 was in the USAF in SWA when John McCain was taken hostage by the NVA. We did everything we could to rescue him but to no avail. John McCain will always be a true American Hero to everyone in the military. I’m positive he has “...reached out and touched the face of God”
-- Tom, Alabama
The death of Senator McCain is not only a great loss in the US, his death is a loss for all democrats in the world who fight for freedom and their believes. Senator McCain was an extraordinary and independent personality who did not just say what the present leadership wants to hear. The current policy is poor with characters like him.
-- Torsten, Germany
Thank You !
-- Alvin, Pennsylvania
God Speed Senator John McCain. You are a great American and public servant. Thanks for all you have done for America and the world. YN1 Pamela C Ranberg, USN (Retired)
-- Pamela, Maryland
A Man who put America and it's people first and fought to acheive it. John was one of a kind There should be more like him in American Government RIP John You will surely be missed
-- Pat, West Virginia
I met John in April 1964 in Pensacola FL where I was taking an orientation tour of Navy aviation. It was a top gun experience! I admired John while I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and supported him in his congressional and presidential efforts thereafter. He was a man who continued to learn and contribute to his country right to the end. He will be missed. May God bless his family.
-- Charles, South Carolina
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
To the family: I am sorry for your loss. I watched Senator McCain on television as he fought for and stood for his beliefs. God be with the family in their time of bereavement.
-- Jacqueline, Virginia
I never meet Sen. John McCain. However throughout my 66 years of this earth I got to know Senator McCain. He was a good, decent man. He was a good family man. He was a Vietnam war hero. I called him my friend even though I never got to shake his hand. The world will miss Sen. McCain. His smile, his tenacity but most of all his character. He will for generations be a model of what each one of us should emulate each day. Character, truth, honesty, and his love of his family and country. May Sen. McCain rest now in the loving grace of God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
-- Randolph, Rhode Island
I will never forget when God put it on my heart to support Senator McCain's campaign. The more I learned about Senator McCain, the more I respected him and appreciated all that he had done for this country. Even the man he was personally impressed me. I gathered signatures in VA to insure his name appeared on the primary ballot. I was privileged to see him in the rotunda of the US Capitol building after fighting all night on the Senate floor. After that, he slept all day on the couch in his office. There were so many things he did publicly that made a difference in this nation, but there was so much more that most people don't even know. Senator McCain was a blessing to the US, and I pray that God comforts his family with memories of all of his wonderful contributions and his model life.
-- Markita, Virginia
My sincere condolences and thanks to the McCain family for their service as well as Sen McCain's.
-- Becky, Kentucky
God bless this family. Remarkable gentleman. His family and world has lost a true leader.
-- Susan, Nevada
I am sad and disappointed that I did not get a chance to meet you in person. It was always a pleasure to listen to what you had to say! A great man and role model for us. Thank you for your service Sir!
-- Patrick, Arizona
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
True American Hero...May his soul Rest In Peace in God’s perpetual light
-- Dave, New York
My condolences to to the family of Senator McCain. Its very difficult to find a man and a Hero like Senator McCain in this century. My prayers will always be with him. Sayed Monis MD Neurosciencescenters.com
-- SAYED, California
Thank you John McCain. You deeply impressed me. My heart is with your family. You truly left an impact and hopefully your legacy will make a difference. You gave us hope in Europe.
-- Sabine, Germany
Thank you for your service to our country, and for sharing your remarkable life with all Americans. Peace, and safe travels.
-- Greg, Wisconsin
Senator, I have been a long time supporter and friend to you as you run for office. I want to thank you for your service to our great nation. Our prayers are with your family. May you rest in peace.
-- Ty, Maryland
John McCain was a hero, a respected leader and wish he was elected President. He will be missed.
-- Arun, Florida
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
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
For years I have more often disagreed with the Senator than agreed with him. Yet always I respected him. Thank you, Senator, for living with honor.
-- Birrell, California
?I worked John McCain’s campaign in New Hampshire and was privileged to meet him several times... the last time we spoke was at Harris Teeter in Arlington VA. He shopped in the store across from our apartment. I reintroduced myself and we chatted about the F-35 Program and when were done he shook my hand and thanked me for my service... after all he did and was doing... what a guy!!!?
-- Kent, California
It was my pleasure to meet John personally, talk and have dinner with him and a few friends in Tucson around 2011. I had the honor to offer a toast for his service and sacrifice to our Country. An honor I'll never forget. Our Country is a better place for his presence and contributions. My sympathy and prayers to his family.
-- Michael, Arizona
A great American Citizen
-- Wulf, Germany
He was a man of true integrity and love for this country and humanity. You will be sincerely missed but remembered as the great force you are.
-- Alicia, Maryland
John Thank You for your service to this country as nothing can ever come close to the accomplishments you have made not only in uniform but out as well. You are a national treasure and will not be forgotten.
-- Robert, Arizona
My thoughts and prayers are with his soul and his family. God Bless him and his family. We will miss his positive impact for ourUnited States.
-- Susan, Arizona
I never had the honor of meeting Senator McCain, but my daughter will know who he was, when she is older. I hope one day she will see in me, what I saw in John McCain, a man of honor and integrity, who had the courage to stand for his beliefs. Someone who did the right thing, because it was the right thing to do, even when it came at great personal sacrifice. He was one of the few people who I wholeheartedly respect and I am eternally grateful for the courage and commitment he showed throughout his life. Fair winds and following seas!
-- Jason, Hawaii
A lot of respect for this true American, your honesty and social awareness. You will be deeply missed.
-- Karel and Ellen, Netherlands
Thank you John for your service to all people of this nation. both in war and peace. Fair winds and calm seas on your journey. RIP.
-- Robert, California
God bless the McCain family and surround each of you with peace.
-- Theresa, Michigan
I considered him a wonderful honest politician. A man of the people.
-- Ruth Lee, New York
Thank you for your service. Until we form again. Frank
-- franklin, Tennessee
On behalf of my family I would like to extend our deepest sympathies on the death of Senator John McCain. Without the courageous Americans like Senator John McCain our nation would not stand so bravely, gleam so brilliantly and live so freely. I wish to quote Light Horse Harry Lee’s, George Washington eulogy but today it could be written for the patriot, hero and a lifetime public servant, Senator John McCain, "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
-- Erick, California
Senator John McCain was a man of honor and brave war hero who always put his country and family first. He is an inspiration to every American and we will miss him. May he Rest In Peace.
-- Dan, New Jersey
Let's put aside politics remember John McCain for putting his life on the line for our country family that has to live without him he's asleep no more pain beautiful memories bless his family
-- Sharon, Nevada
I've long admired and respected Sen. McCain for his strength, leadership and love of America. He dedicated his whole life to serving our country, striving to make it better and stronger, and becoming a mentor to many.
-- Susan, Texas
I was a Democrat, but when John ran for President, I'd always said that if he ever ran , I would support him. Party didn't matter as much to me as the intent and decency of the candidate. John is the reason I became a bipartisan ..until trump...and I will be again when integrity is restored to the GOP... by emulating John's ethics. It can honestly be said that John was a "great man", that only comes along in decades. I wasn't prepared, though I knew it might come. Even now, John helps us differentiate the split screen contrast between revered and notoriety. He helped us through the troubled days of late while he was here, and will be the inspiration for us to regain our country's place in the world. I will remember you, John.
-- Jenneva, Arizona
Rest in heaven , you will be truly miss , praying for the family may God give you all strength as y’all grieve over your love one
-- Sharhonda, Louisiana
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
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
Trusted Statesman. Thank you for your dedication and your service. Barbra a democrat
-- Barbra, Illinois
Rest In Peace Senator. You will be greatly missed. Your integrity and honesty will long be remembered.
-- Linda, North Carolina
A true American. He had more guts than any other president.
-- Mir, Bangladesh
Semper Fidelis, John. You were always one of my heroes and held the ideals of our country to such a high esteem that I became a Republican back in the late 90s when I was a Marine. You will be sorry missed, but the marines at the gate to your next destination will will be happy to see you.
-- Miguel, Virginia
True hero. Our country has lost a true statesman. RIP. GOD BLESS
-- AlRose, Georgia
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
Senator John McCain, you will always be our hero. No-one can fill the vacuum you have left behind.You will be truly missed. May your sweet soul REST IN PERFECT PEACE. Our sincere condolences to the McCain Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
-- Madonna, Arizona
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