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 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
As an American, I feel a genuine sense of loss knowing that Senator McCain has passed. No matter what I or anyone may say about his party, or his political choices, no reasonable person would argue about the basics. He was a public servant of the highest order. He was a war hero. He was an outstanding American in every regard. Most importantly, he truly understood and defended American Values, to the very end. We are all better off for the sacrifices he made. I will miss him very much. My humblest and most sincere condolences to his family.
-- Scott, Massachusetts
We never meet. I sometimes disagreed. Still, John was the best American to represent my generation. We will all eventually perish. I just hope to see another John McCain before that day.
-- John, Idaho
My deepest condolences to the family. I respected his work as a senator. Arizona has lost a great of the greatest! Rest In Peace, senator John Sydney McCain III.
-- EDWIN, Connecticut
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
John McCain, we need you more than ever now. If only others could exemplify your courage, honesty, wisdom, grace and vigor. Perhaps now, some will realize your contributions to this country, and how very important it is to put country over party. Thank you, Senator McCain. You will not be forgotten.
-- Sharon, California
I have admired John McCain for years I remember when he was a POW and how courageous he was during this time. Our country needs more people like with who serve our country. His honesty and fairness needs to be more prevalent. May he Rest In Peace and be remember for the hero he was to our country.
-- Elaine, Pennsylvania
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
We in Germany are grateful for this honorable and brave statesman of the whole western Community. R.I.P.
-- Jochen, Germany
John McCain, a name to remember, a man served his country with honor! -- David, a Chinese Canadian Citizen
-- David, Florida
John McCain set the highest moral example for all of us, regardless of political affiliation, to uphold. I pray that his example will resonate throughout political circles and that civil discourse will return to the seats of power in our country. It was my highest honor to shake the hand of this great man during his presidential campaign in Kansas City. May we all live by the example of a life of service and civility that John McCain epitomized. Thank you, God, for the life of John McCain and for giving him the strength of spirit to endure and keep fighting for what he believed in and the America he cherished. Farewell, Senator. We are all blessed to have known you and have you among us!
-- JAMES, Missouri
My deepest sympathy to the family. We have lost a. great hero and statesman.
-- Joseph, Connecticut
SENATOR McCAIN WAS AN AMERICAN HERO. HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR BEING A PERSON WHO WORRIED ABOUT HIS FELLOW COUNTRY MEN THEN HIS POLITICS . I WILL BE DEDICATING A TREE IN ISRAEL IN HIS HONOR. MENCH.
-- ARTHUR, Florida
I remember when the Great John McCain defended the name of Barack Obama when a lady tried to say he was a Muslim. He stood up for Obama at a time when so many others are trying to divide the nation. He was a politician that really brought Americans together.
-- Dominic, Georgia
I voted for him for President. I guess I was always going to , but after Sarah Palin said "he is the only candidate running who has ever truly fought for you" it sealed the deal. Sincerest condolences to your family ...losing a husband and a father is one of life's biggest body blows...so sorry for your loss.
-- Ginny, New York
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
A man who seemed to care. A man with a sense of humor. He had my vote as a person I could ask to be my representative.
-- Scott, Virginia
July 4th, 2017, Senator John McCain and a few of his colleagues came to Kabul, Afghanistan to visit with American Service personnel serving far away from home. He could have been anywhere, but he was there with us, and of course made special time for the Navy Sailors stationed there. He pinned the rank of LTCOL on a friend and promoted several others as well. We were far away from home, but having Senator McCain there with us made everything better. Because he was there, we felt at home and a hope he did too.
-- CDR Jim, Virginia
He should have our president. We honor him and his loving family. We only wish he could know how many responded with grief after his loss. God Bless you all. We intend to commemorate him with a future pledge
-- Linda and Howard, Virginia
Rest in Peace John. There will never be another John McCain.. We will miss you and will pray for you.
-- Paula, Arizona
He would have been the Best President ever!! Also a President for everyone, not just his party. Hopefully his life will influence the rest of the USA. He was truly a great & honest person!!
-- Shirley, California
A hero I wish he was from my state God bless his soul Missing You senator McCain
-- Ali, California
Our country and the whole world have lost an awesome compassionate man. He was wise most of the desicion he took while voting on any bill it was always what is good for the USA and not what was good for the country. Senators like him are very few. God has gained a loving car in Angel. Rest in peace maverick.
-- Elie, Arizona
Senator McCain was a man of principle who spoke honestly and respectfully to his constituents, his colleagues, and the people of the United States. He did not mince words. He lived his beliefs and acted in concert with his conscience. He was authentic. He was and is an inspiration to those of us who have tried to contribute to our country and our community. I am a democrat, but would have been proud to have him as our president. My deepest sharing of loss with his family and gratitude for his exampleSan Juan
-- Minerva, Virginia
I voted for John McCain because he was a real life Rambo.
-- JOLEEN, Massachusetts
Much loved, much respected, very much missed - God speed Senator McCain
-- Loretta, Pennsylvania
You were a true hero.
-- SAHBA, Texas
Clearly the loss of a fine and decent man ; our sympathy to his family , to his state and his great country. A hero indeed !
-- Al and Angela, Canada
I never had the privilege of meeting Senator McCain though I have long admired his dedicated service to our country through military and public service. Thank you for your service! Country First Godspeed John McCain Were gonna miss ya!
-- Ray, 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
While a Senator and Presidential Candidate in 2008 we were very lucky to attend a wonderful campaign stop Senator McCain made in Miami, Fl. It was late at night but the mood and crowd was electric. God Bless you Senator and your entire wonderful family!
-- Richard, Florida
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
I have ALWAYS had a deep love and admiration for John McCain. My deepest sympathy and prayers for him and his family.
-- Frank, New York
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
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
God bless the McCain family and surround each of you with peace.
-- Theresa, Michigan
I want to send my deepest sympathy to the family of John McCain. Thank you Mr. McCain for your service to this country. Rest In Peace.
-- Debbie, Delaware
John McCain, John McCain Hero, idol, eternal swain You lived an active life, nobly You will be missed by all, greatly.
-- mumtaz, Bangladesh
he was a great senator from the state of Arizona. Anthony , Greenville
-- Anthony, North Carolina
I am an independent and I voted for Senator McCain for president twice. He was the real thing. I will miss him terribly. Sheila, Massachusetts
-- sheila, Massachusetts
A am very sad over the loss of a great wonderful man. He will be so missed this incredible man.
-- Jill, Arizona
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
A truly heroic man who served his country well. He should be the role model for those in Congress as well as to the rest of the nation. He will be sorely missed by so many of us.
-- Kim, Texas
I always admired his clear stands and his military career. The US lost one of their moral leaders in a time of uncertainness. Rest in peace Salute
-- Alexander, Germany
My salute to a great career and a man of wonderful inner strength who served his county with honor and courage. May he rest in peace and be embraced by the arms of Jesus Christ.
-- Nicholas, Pennsylvania
Thank you sir for every thing you did for this great country you will be missed god bless .
-- mike, Washington
He was a man of tremendous courage. He was a hero.
-- Hemant, New Jersey
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
A guiding light for the United States has been extinguished. What John McCain meant to this country will never be able to be captured in words. I never met the man, but I have wept at his passing. I will always consider it an honor to have cast a vote for him in the presidential election. I will miss his voice of reason, his bipartisanship, his good humor, and his immense love of service to his country. When John McCain did something, you did not have to question his motives, you knew he was doing what he truly thought was right. If we can all live our lives and serve our country and communities even a small fraction of that of which Senator McCain has we will be immensely better off. God Speed Good Senator.
-- Mickey, Georgia
John McCain was a man that I admired greatly. His courage, valor, and willingness to do the right thing no matter the consequences was a great light in my life. His memory will always be a beacon of hope in the world of politics, and his legacy will enrich and be enshrined in the halls of the US Congress. If I pass as a man half as honorable as him, I will rest easy. He served his country honorably. Safe sailing my friend.
-- Jarrod, 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