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 met him on his ranch some time back. I did some work on the ranch. He gave me a big hug. He knows me as cowboy. Very nice man. He is one hell of a man. We talked for a while. But every time, I talked to him. He was very nice. I love the man. I will miss him. God bless you John. You are in the Lord's hands now. And I know you are looking down and watching all of us and everything going on. We love you. God bless John McCain. Best man I have ever known.
-- James, Arizona
megan McCain sorry about your dad he was the best man and president god will take care of him and rest in heaven thanks lord 2018 by joel mansfield
-- joel, Texas
I had the proud preivlege of meet Sentor McCain during a campaign rally stop in Wisconsin during his second campaign bid. His way of politics and reaching across the aisle in Congress will be missed. The maverick will be missed. I wish his soul rest and hold his family up in my prayers during this difficult time.
-- Martin, Wisconsin
Thank you Sir, for your honor, courage and service. You will be missed. Rest in peace.
-- Renee, Arizona
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
We love you so much, I'm totally sorry for the lost of a great man that spoke the truth about the whole world and fight for the state of Arizona and he will truely be miss and remember the greatest memories what you done to save our state. God bless the family and friends.???????.may God bless our state of Arizona.
-- William, Arizona
To the McCain family we are sorry for your lost .The Leon Session Family Much Love ????
-- Leon&Verta, Texas
Although I didn't have personal stories to tell -- I just would like to say that I am so sorry for your loss -- it is mine, my family and all of the people who are close to me share. He was a great man -- one, no matter what political party you are from, has taught us, inspired us. We are devastated and will miss him so much. So sincerely yours.
-- Mary, New York
My greatest memory is working on his campaign for President. I was a volunteer on the ground floor of HQ in Crystal City. The room suddenly filled with volunteers. We were told John & Cindy were on their way. They arrived to a packed room with news cameras following. I was standing off to the side. The news wanted a photo with a volunteer after he spoke to us. He looked over at me and drew me into the picture. What a day! Sympathies to family and friends!
-- Sally, Virginia
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
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
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
John McCain represented the best of our country. He served his God, his country and his family in true style. He believed in discussing our differences and reaching a compromise position. The D's and Rs need to follow this philosophy . Unity should be our goal.
-- Linda, New Jersey
A great Patriot and warrior and most importantly a true American Hero who will be sorely missed. !
-- michael, Pennsylvania
Proud to have served with John, not only in the Navy, but in the cells of North Vietnam prisons. We traveled together all the way from the jet training squadron (John an instructor - I a student) in Meridian, MS, through our time in prison and eventually time together in the Pentagon. An adventuresome life, but as we both agree, a life of unbelievable blessings. Fair winds my friend and my God Bless you and God Bless America.
-- Capt. William (Bill), Washington
To an American hero. Thank you for your service to our country. And to your love and devotion you had for it. A life lived truly well. Rest in peace knowing you left a footprint that will endure.
-- Barbara, Illinois
I was so excited when he ran for President; I knew he would put the office and the country first. My husband and I both voted for him, and were very disappointed when he lost the election. He will be remembered, and he will be missed.
-- Miranda, New Jersey
My deepest condolences to your family. He was a True Hero. Rest In Peace.
-- Patrice, New Hampshire
Sen. John McCain taught us what honor, true patriotism and basic human decency look like. He will be missed.
-- Max, Pennsylvania
Thank you, Senator McCain.
-- Wendy, Arizona
Election 2008 inspired my son ( 13 year old at the time ) to be involved in politics. Together with me, we attended gatherings in support of John McCain. We believed that man of his moral standing was the ideal candidate for the presidency. Although, he didn't win, he continued to served the country in an exemplary manner. So very sorry for your loss. May the sweet memories be of solace at this painful time.
-- Nora, New Jersey
The manner in which Senator McCain responded to negative comments from his constituents about his opponent Barak Obama spoke volumes about his citizenship, his character and his personal values. Such an example his legacy has left for those in govenment to follow and emulate. Blessings to his spirit and to his family.
-- Ana, New York
I met John McCain in 1985, when he spoke to my graduating class at Washington HS. I became a supporter and follower of his from that day forward. He was an amazing man with strong values. Arizona and America will not be the same without him.
-- Brent, Arizona
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
Dear Cindy I am so deeply sympathy your husband he is good men We'll best to your family. Love you Anthony Canale
-- Anthony, New York
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.
I met the character of John McCain within the pages of his book, Faith of My Fathers, well-matched with his conduct as a man. It describes the ground of his action and the enduring worth of his cherished commitments. Whatever shortcomings each person exercises in life or fame which endures, it is the reason for it that all makes sense. Their works do follow them. Rest in Peace.
-- Herbert, California
Then Congressman McCain’s office was next to my Member Bob Davis in Longworth HOB, circa 1983-85. I was Bob’s press secretary and we became friends with John and his staff. He was a regular guy and would exchange pleasantries in the hallway and the adjoining restroom. Each office had a restroom for the Member, but John would frequent the staff facility like it was no big deal. He treated us with friendly banter and one of the guys. I’ve been a fan ever since.
-- Paul, Michigan
John McCain: An outstanding man and the best example of what a true American in politics should be, there are few that have the ability today to work with "let's work together" attitude but he was open for that. He has inspired both sides of the isle. he inspired me. Senator McCain stood firm when he refused to leave his men in Vietnam. He will always be known as a great American hero. I am saddened he is gone but feel he served his country well, showed self respect in the way he lived his personal life and political life. He is a man that God will take into eternity. Senator McCain is probably one of the few men that will be talked about in decades and years to come. God bless his sweet family.
-- Carol, Tennessee
What a great man! The definition of integrity is John McCain. For my trip to Vietnam, he gave me note signed by him to keep me safe. A true American hero, he is what our country always needed and always will. He will be missed! John, please guide us from above.
-- Pierre, Arizona
Well done good and faithful servant....
-- Susan, Texas
Never got a chance to meet him, but we knew him. Never voted for him, but respected him. Did not always agree with him, but you liked him, just the same. Never really thanked him but will always remember the sacrifices only another veteran could fully understand. He lived a good life in spite of his wounds and lived a long life according to the will of God. He was a brave warrior, he was blessed and his beautiful journey is just beginning.
-- Millie Jackson, Arizona
Three years ago I had the privilege of meeting Senator McCain at Regan Airport. He was gracious and cordial when we talked. I may not have agreed with him on everything but never ceased to admire him for standing for his principles and his dedication to our Country. Well done faithful servant.
-- Barbara, Indiana
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
We enjoyed his humor in Politics
-- Gary, Texas
Good Bye. Well done!
-- Astrid, Germany
A brave, honorable man whose character and moral compass is a beacon for us all.
-- Bruce, New York
As a Starbucks barista in Cottonwood, Az for the past 11 years, I had the privilege of making the Senator, and his family their favorite drinks several times a year. We never spoke politics. We talked about our kids, we talked about movies, we shared a lot of laughs. He got a kick out of a John McCain bobble head my son bought me for Christmas, and I made fun of his wearing the same shirt every time I saw him. I respected him for his unending service to our country, I loved him for his sense of humor and affection. Rest east, my dear friend, the holidays will never, ever be the same for us in the Verde Valley.
-- Sandy, Arizona
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
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
John McCain was the Executive Officer of VA174 when I was in A-7E RAG training at Cecil Field in the mid 1970s. He personally taught me low-level tactics, and weapons training at MCAS Yuma AZ. What a GREAT instructor, and motivator! And John had one of the most infectious senses of humor of anyone I have ever known. What an inspiration of a man!!
-- Richard, Idaho
I first met John McCain during the 1982-83 school year at Northern Arizona University. I remember it was a small event and John got up and addressed the group; and he shared his vision as he embarked on his first elected office representing Arizona. I left that event and remember telling a good friend how impressed I was by JOHN MCCAIN! All these years later I still feel the same. John McCain was a true patriot and he will be missed by All Americans! RIP dear friend! Thank you for your Leadership!! As a young student, JOHN was the first politician I ever endorsed without the influence of Family or Friends.
-- Andrew D., Illinois
We will keep you in are hearts for the rest of our lives
-- John, Oregon
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
Senator John McCain, one of the great leaders in the U.S. and around the world, is remembered for his faith, dignity, leadership, his love for people everywhere, and his love for his family. Senator McCain will be greatly missed by all, and especially by his comrades and friends in Arizona and Washington, D.C. Senator McCain has made the world a better place with his faith, integrity, leadership; his stand for democracy and freedom for all. His books are a great inspiration and teaching for this generation and the generations to come. Senator McCain's Leadership Institute will teach and bring other leaders for freedom and democracy for peoples all over the world. Senator McCain has been a great servant to Americans and to people in other countries of the world. His faith in God, courage and determination, are an inspiration for everyone all over the world.
-- Teresa, Kentucky
Thank you from a dedicated Democrat
-- Linda, Arizona
John McCain was a true American hero. I'm glad to have lived in his lifetime. Thank you John for your service to our country.
-- Patricia, New Jersey
This great man lead our Nation and will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. Goodbye Patriot.
-- Dan, Oregon
A great role model who stayed true to his convictions despite enormous pressure from his own party. He will be missed.
-- Bill, Massachusetts
John McCain was a true American hero. He truly represented loyalty to the laws of the US. He will be sorely missed especially in today's political climate where independent thinking is crucial to our democracy.
-- Dale, 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