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.
Well, I didn't know Senator McCain personally, but when I heard about his cancer diagnosis, I started to pray and didn't stop. You, see I lost my mother Hallie Lousie Williams, last year 7/17/2017 to the same type of cancer. I was hoping the Maverick had one last trick up his sleeve. He will be missed!
-- Angela, Illinois
God bless you sir, John Mc Cain. I admire your leadership
-- Kees, Netherlands
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 SAW HIM IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA WHEN HE WAS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN 2008. AND I WILL MISS HIM ALOT.
-- TOBY, Alabama
Our family has been saddened by this loss, John McCain was a light of hope in a dark time politically. We laughed at his self defacing jokes, his delightful honesty. Most of all, we felt protected from corruption. He was not afraid to speak his mind when others were cowards or motivated purely by the polls. In short, he had guts and conviction of his beliefs. The rest of the party seems to have lost their moral compass. As he goes with our Lord, I am sure he will be welcome. We'll miss you, love and encouragement from our family to his on this day.
-- Renee, Oregon
A true American. He had more guts than any other president.
-- Mir, Bangladesh
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 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
Take your rest...you brave soldier having fought the good fight of faith until your name was echoed from heaven's realm for your task has been completed. Your example of courage will not be gotten. You will be missed.
-- Phillip, South Carolina
I voted for John McCain because he was a real life Rambo.
-- JOLEEN, Massachusetts
Mr. McCain, with your life story you leave behind. You make me proud to be from Arizona and an American. You will be greatly missed. May you Rest In Peace.
-- Maria, Arizona
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
Senator John McCain was a human being that honored his work to do good for others. When I met him, Senator McCain was modest and sincere man. One of the few true heroes of our country. Best regards to Cindy and the McCain family, Hon. C. WS Kim
-- Charles WS, Illinois
Rest in peace, John McCain, as you have lived a full and extraordinary life. While you and your fellow congress members did not always agree, there is no dispute that you loved this country, supported a strong military, supported secure borders and immigration reform, supported fair trade, supported tax cuts, supported improved care for our veterans, supported world peace efforts and believed America is a truly exceptional country where freedoms and individual achievements are valued and fostered through capitalism and our representative republic system of government. You devoted your entire life to serve this great nation for which we all are grateful. Bless you and may God embrace and guide you in eternity. Carole
-- Carole, Washington
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
He was truly man of his word. He greatly be missed.. I salute you my brother of the military. RIP
-- Monica, Georgia
Being a first generation immigrant and die hard democrat party supporter, I have always felt heartened by the honesty and patriotism of Sen.Mccain. He was a example to me of the greatness left in public service and my faith in my new country always was firm thanks to him. My prayers for this wonderful man.
-- Kumar, New Jersey
I have learnt from the life of Senator McCain what distinguishes an outstanding leader: He knows who he is; what he stands for; what he believes in; where he is going; and most of all; he epitomizes character-driven leadership in action. I understood from his life example that 'Leadership is not something we stand for, rather, it is a stand for something'!
-- Karambu, Kenya
I am a democrat in Tucson, AZ. I have great respect for this man. He worked across the aisle for the good of ALL Americans and the whole world. There will never be anyone like him. I bet Aretha Franklin is ushering him into heaven with her songs!!! Well done, good and faithful servant!
-- Kathleen, Arizona
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
We worked for you in 2000 and were able to meet you twice in 2002. You were always one of the "good guys." Thank you for all you said and did in public life.
-- Carolyn & Bob, Arizona
True hero. Our country has lost a true statesman. RIP. GOD BLESS
-- AlRose, Georgia
I passed Mr. McCain in a terminal at Reagan National in fall of 2008 before the election. I said “Good Luck!” and he acknowledged with a nod and thumbs up. We appreciate his service. I’m sorry for your loss.
-- Victor, North Carolina
I admired him for his service in uniform to our Country, his service in the Congress and Senate, his strength as a Politician and his example as a family man. He was valiant to the end and I will always remember his legacy and pray that those who feel disdain towards him and call him a RINO finally look at the truth and honor the man, husband, father, Sailor, leader, lawmaker that he was. RIP John McCain.
-- Joan, Virginia
Shook hands with John and his beautiful wife when I did a little work on his 2008 presidential campaign. Nice people.
-- Gilbert, California
A brave, honorable man whose character and moral compass is a beacon for us all.
-- Bruce, New York
My memory of John McCain will always be the class and dignity with which he conducted himself during and after the 2008 Presidential Campaign. There is no greater example of his extraordinary character.
-- Michael, Massachusetts
We were Naval Academy classmates. He was my naval and American hero.
-- Thomas, Hawaii
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 was honored to have met the Senator when he came to our community during his run for the Presidency. He was a man that I respected very much. Even though he was a little young, he was one of the GREATEST GENERATION of soldiers who fought for this country, a country he truly loved. He will be missed.
-- John, Florida
Thank you Senator McCain for all you did for the American people and for man kind. You are already missed and will always be remembered for your love of country . Rest easy SIR
-- Harry, Florida
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
John McCain was a man of honor and integrity....Lost arts.. How very sad for our great country. Condolences to his wonderful family.
-- Sylvia, North Carolina
Sen. John McCain taught us what honor, true patriotism and basic human decency look like. He will be missed.
-- Max, Pennsylvania
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
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
I remember spending time in Michigan traveling and attending events as we campaigned for his Presidency in Michigan. I found him to be very heartfelt when we spoke one on one. I shall remember him with rsspect forever. Senator McCain has been missed by numerous individuals.
-- Judy Todd, Michigan
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
Well, I've followed his career ever since he stepped off the plane from Vietnam and stepped back on U.S. soil. I've always thought of Johm McCain as an American hero. I was so thankful for Meghan's expression of love for her "beloved father". What father would not want such a statement from his daughter or son after he's gone. That means a "job well done" in this life.
-- William, Texas
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
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. Jack and John slept head to head in prison at one time. Jack said John was always a man of honor. Thanks for what you did for the Islanders (1987) when you came out to Guam while we were there serving for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Best Regards. Love Connie Rollins S
-- Connie, California
John was what every politician and American should want to be. he will be truly missed.
-- Luanne, Illinois
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
RIP, Senator McCain. Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. May you find peace in the memories you share.
-- Diane, Florida
2 of my children and I had the pleasure of attending The Senators 100th town hall in NH when he was running for President. I was fortunate to be called on for a question. He was gracious and strong that day. He even complemented my young children. We sometimes watch the replay on CSpan. We think of that family time and cherish the memory. As well, I was just recently working in Vietnam and visited the Relic in Hanoi. I was moved to tears reading the history and how much I’m sure that he endured for the fight for our great country. But more importantly, the grace he showed on his return. He will be missed and our families prayers are with you during this time of sorrow. I know, as you do, that he is in God’s Loving arms for all time. God Bless you!
-- Michael, New York
A true American hero. May God rest his soul
-- Neal, Connecticut
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
He was a man of tremendous courage. He was a hero.
-- Hemant, New Jersey
Senator John McCain was an American patriot who served his country with distinction and became a hero to many, including myself, through his selfless actions, placing his country above his personal ambitions . I was proud to have purchased his signed memoir in 2008 and I will treasure it to my dying days and pass it on to future generations. My deep condolences go his family and godspeed John in your new journey.
-- Luis, California
Senator McCain was a true American Hero. His service to our country including the fact he could have been released from Vietnam during his capture but said no, he would not leave his fellow soldiers behind, is a show of true loyalty and courage which cannot be matched. Thank you Senator for your service during the war and thank you for your public service thereafter in Congress. America was blessed to have you.
-- John, Pennsylvania
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