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.
Our prayers and thoughts are with the McCain family. He will be truly missed
-- David, California
To the McCain family we are sorry for your lost .The Leon Session Family Much Love ????
-- Leon&Verta, Texas
God bless the McCain family and surround each of you with peace.
-- Theresa, Michigan
The year Regan & Bush ran on the Republican ticket, there was a rally in downtown Phoenix. I attended with my mother and sister. It was there that Senator McCain was shaking hands in the crowd. My hand was one of the hands he shook. I grew up in Phoenix and am now 59. So this is a long-time memory for me. I respect and appreciate the work that Senator McCain did for our country and his service in the military to fight for my freedom. My hope is there will be many people to come who will have the ability to fight for the rights of all Americans and be able to work across the “aisle “ with each other for the unified goal of making laws that support, protect and grow the country for us and our children. May his memory be a blessing.
-- Joanne, Arizona
I met the Senator in 2007 during the NH Primary. He was both a gentleman and a great teacher. He was very kind and made sure I was comfortable at every campaign event, while knowing I was a Democrat. I will never forget the time I spent with the Senator. It was both an honor and a privilege to meet him. He inspired me then, and still inspires me to work in public service, as I currently do in the House of Representatives. I don’t feel like he’s gone. Because the Senator was such a force his spirit will be with us forever, however I miss him already. I hope in some way I can accomplish just a fraction of what he has done for this Country. I love this Country, and I will continue to serve it in the best way I can. #RIPMCCAIN
-- Angela, Ohio
A great American Citizen
-- Wulf, Germany
Thank you so much your help our country, We miss you
-- Van, Maryland
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 thank you for your service. You are the only politician to whom I’ve contributed campaign funds. Fair Winds and Following Seas.
-- Susan, Ohio
I volunteered to do what I could to help the McCain Presidential campaign. Offering perspectives from New York. I will remember John McCain, Cindy and Family as loyal servants for the cause of freedom and peace. Learning to get along is a dream worth living for and John tried! R.I.P. courageous fellow.
-- Victoria (Vicki) Sorg, New York
As I sit and listen to the life of Senator John McCain, I knew about his time as captured solider, his friendship with Senator Edward Kennedy. So much can be said about his work as Senator to our nation.I respected him because he put country before party. He ran for President twice and both the men that he ran against both President's Bush and Obama will speak at his funeral service. So to honor his life we all should try to bring back kindness in our lives. To speak the truth, own to our errors and poor judgement. Stop with calling the truth lies, to stop name calling,to respect the press. Not saying this is fake etc. Will everything be perfect in our country no. But take this time to reflect on TRUE patriots of America. That was Senator John McCain. My prayers to his family and Friends
-- tracey, Pennsylvania
Thank you, John McCain, for your years of service to our country. You will sincerely be missed. Deepest condolences to your family.
-- Sarah, Colorado
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
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 well-earned rest for you, John. Truly well-earned in the eyes of God and of men.
-- Marc of Contemplative Pathways, Philippines
-- Greg, Pennsylvania
What I remember most is attending the Arizona Women's Conferences sponsored by Senator McCain. He brought in keynote speakers and wonderful workshops that provided women a place to network as well as gain knowledge. He was a great senator and Arizona was lucky to have him. He brought integrity, humor, dedication, and the willingness to work across the aisle to Washington. Thank you to the McCain family for sharing him with us all. May God bless him and you.
-- Mary, Florida
I thank you for your service. You are loved and cherished by the country you loved and served so bravely. I will miss you.
-- Emmy, Florida
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
I remember seeing Senator McCain during the 2008 campaign defend President Obama from the accusation that he was an Arab. He said the President was an American citizen. I also remember seeing the dramatic vote on the Senate floor when John cast the deciding vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. I saw him many times on television and he was straightforward and direct in many of his answers to questions whether they were good or bad ones. He will be deeply missed in the US Senate at a time when it could use the voice of a man with the courage of his convictions.
-- Christopher, Maryland
Hello, I am writing from the UK and wish to offer sincere condolences to Senator McCain's family, friends,and supporters.Though politically at odds I have always been inspired by his truest of all courage,integrity and dignity and sharp political intellect. From across the pond it has sometimes been difficult as an outside observer,Senator McCain always seemed a beacon of principal and incredible courage.Many people across the world know what a great American hero he was,in my humble opinion maybe one of the best Presidents you never had. Again sincere condolences,I am saddened today. P.
-- Paul, United Kingdom
To the McCain family, my family and I wish to offer our sincere condolences on your loss. To me, Senator McCain personifies the meaning of what it is to be a real American patriot. He truly followed the path of Robert Jordan by sacrificing for his country. I admire him for admitting that he after all was human and capable of making mistakes. But he said that's ok as long as you own it. As a Vietnam veteran I would just like to say REST IN PEACE may God be with you
-- Ruben, California
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 campaigned for Senator McCain when he ran for President. I hold him in the highest esteem and pray for his family.
-- Bettie, Texas
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
To those who loved Senator/war hero, John McCain, and were loved by him: Henley's poem 'Invictus' , intoned so beautifully by Bruno Huhn, is now playing in my heart and mind as I remember John McCain. He lived and died on his own terms. And he left this world better than he found it. What more can one adk of a man?
-- Richard, New York
I campaigned for John McCain in two presidential elections, at his offices in Phoenix,making phone calls and addressing mail. also I worked at a Scottsdale campaign head quarters . I so wanted Him to become president. I will always honor his memory. As a Scottsdale resident of over 37 years ...Rest in Peace JOHN MCCAIN
-- Joyce, Arizona
He is a man with dignity and respect. He’s great father, brother, and human person... btw am Arizona resident n I’ll miss him. ??????
-- Maanka, Arizona
My family will miss seeing John at the Dback games...
-- ralph, Arizona
John taught me that character is the most important quality of a leader....measured by actions ... guantified with respect ...appreciated with love...he was an awesome soul!
-- Bernie, Massachusetts
Our country lost its great son. RIP John. World won't be the same with out you. You deserved to be and you will be remembered by millions of people around the world. America had been blessed by decades of your service.
-- Stan, New York
As a fellow Navy veteran. I had a lot of respect for what Senator McCain went through in Vietnam. My condolences to your family.
-- Edna, North Carolina
Dear Mrs. McCain and family: We would like to express our condolences to you, Honorable John McCain’s Family, for your great loss. Words are inadequate at this time of grief, but we would like you to know that we will always cherish the memories of the Senator as a Combat Hero in Vietnam, enduring six years of harsh imprisonment at the so-called “Hanoi Hilton”. The Senator fought alongside us against the invasion of the Communists to ensure Freedom for the South Vietnamese people. As our Greatest Benefactor, The Senator wrote the McCain Amendment, signed into Law in 2002, which restored derivative refugee status to save thousands of South Vietnamese Prisoners of War and their families from the retribution of the Vietnamese Communists. Senator McCain was a "fighter" and a true "patriot" until the very end; his legacy of service and "love of country" were unparalleled. We send our prayers for "peace" and "healing." Respectfully Yours, Tan Nguyen Republic of Vietnam Veteran
-- Tan, Virginia
Senator McCain was a fearless, principled statesman. Honor was an integral part of his character and his service to our country an exemplary example of what a hero is. His arms were wide and strong enough to reach across the aisle of his political rivals to make our world a better place for all of us. I am a Democrat and I really liked this exceptional representative of the Republican Party. It is with much sorrow to say goodbye to him but I am grateful for his years of service and to his family. Thank you all so very much.
-- Eva, California
Senator John McCain was truly an American Hero and an inspiration for all regardless of party or political orientation, as he understood the requirements of our form of government and put them into practical use, recognizing that the nation was more important than any party. His passing is a great loss to his family and the nation.
-- Robert, California
I am a physician who helped take care of Senator McCain's kids. We had been out of the country several July 4th's. My daughter asked it we could stay in the US one year and John's office was helpful I setting up tours in DC. We asked to meet him when we came back to AZ. When we met in 2005, I reminded him who I was, asked him to run for President and offered to be his running mate. He thought a minute, said my kids are alive and "OK, you're in"! When we asked him how the average American could make a difference, he responded to keep the memory of the holocaust alive. He then quoted from Jewish authors. What a thrill and honor to have met him and have our family discuss this with him. We will never forget this honor to be with him.
-- Alvin, Arizona
To the entire McCain family, and all the people of the US of A, please accept my sincerest condolences on you loss of a truly proud American and supported of the American people and the country that he fought for both in war and public life. I sincerely wish that all elected officials around the world strive to attain the same level of honour and commitment to the people they represent, their countries and all the people of the world. You will be missed.
-- Louis, Canada
Senator McCain has been a true Patriot with great love of country. He was a true Statesman and man of honor and integrity. He will be missed by those who knew him and citizens just like me! God is welcoming this special soul!
-- Jane, Florida
I remember Mr. McCain commitment to a very strong military and thereby always keeping us all safe. Mr. McCain was a leader in realizing a comprehensive immigration law he co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy. It was very sad day when this comprehensive immigration plan was defeated by Congress. I also remember very well Mr. McCain class in ignoring insults from Donald Trump and how he campaigned against Barack Obama by speaking very positively about Mr. Obama as a person, only disagreements were policies, not personal. In today's Congress, we sure need new Mr. McCains !!!
-- Thor, New York
Senator McCain has been a role model in American and international politics. Not only his ability to speak out on controversial issues will be missed, also here in Europe. He will always be remembered for his graceful concession speech, praising Barack Obama in 2008 - what a great man. R.I.P
-- Christopher M., Germany
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
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
Remembering a very, very good man. What a great example John McCain left for us to follow. Farewell brave hero. Sleep well.
-- Audrey, New Jersey
Condolence to the family. God bless and be with all of you now and always. I pray that God will meet all your needs during this time.
-- Shirley, Alabama
A true American Hero has reached out and touched the face of God. Thank you Lord for the life of Senator John S. McCain. May God Bless you and your family. Rest in Peace.
-- Neil, Georgia
Senator McCain is not only a role model for me and my husband, but also for our teenage children. Although we didn’t always agree with him, we always respected him as a great patriot and man of character. In this political age when leadership pales, Senator McCain is a shining beacon of dignity, honesty, integrity and courage. God rest Senator McCain and bless his family with the knowledge that he touched the lives of so many in the world for the better. Senator John Sidney McCain will be forever remambered.
-- Jameela, Arizona
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. May the Lord comfort you and your family during this your hour of bereavement. I pray that the Lord will keep you and your family in perfect peace. The Lord is our Shepherd we shall not want He is our shield and fortress; He will keep us for all hurt harm and danger. The Lord is our provider, keeper and maker of all that spiritually and diligently seek Him. I thank God for Senator John McCain, his service, his devotion to all mankind. There will never be another Senator John McCain, when God made Senator McCain He threw away the mold. Senator McCain had a heart of pure Gold a Spirit that he shared with all the people, whom he will never know that his spirit had touched. I was always impressed with Senator McCain. To God Be the Glory....
-- Marsha Gayle -, Arkansas
He was not only a true warrior, but also a friend, He will always be remembered for his leadership.
-- Anthony, Arizona
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family of Senator John McCain. May the comfort of God surround you at this time and in the days ahead. Amen.
-- Edward, Texas
A man of Honor and Integrity
-- Gregory E, Florida
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