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John Sidney McCain III 1936 - 2018

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.

Memorials and Services

There will be memorial events celebrating the life of Senator John Sidney McCain III in Arizona and Washington, D.C.
Please see below for more information:

The Story of John Sidney McCain III

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.

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Donate to a Charitable Cause

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:

The McCain Institute Foundation
The McCain Institute Foundation is a tax-exempt 501C3 charitable organization founded to support the work of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. Guided by values that have animated the career of Senator John McCain and the McCain family for generations, the McCain Institute for International Leadership is dedicated to advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity. LEARN MORE AND LEND YOUR SUPPORT.

Translational Genomics Research Institute
When TGen’s founder, Arizona-born Dr. Jeffrey Trent, was the Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Senator McCain was instrumental in convincing him to return to Arizona and bring new knowledge with him, establishing TGen in an effort to turn breakthroughs in genetic research into medical advances. Today, TGen is poised to take that knowledge and transform brain cancer research in honor of Senator McCain. We invite you to join us in honoring Senator John McCain with the establishment of the John S. McCain III Endowed Chair in Brain Cancer Research. LEARN MORE ABOUT GLIOBLASTOMA AND LEND YOUR SUPPORT.

Statements and Tributes

Statement from The Office of Senator John 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.


Mourning the Departure of Senator John McCain

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

Tributes at the U.S. Naval Academy Honoring Senator John McCain today by General David H. Petraeus and Jack McCain.


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Remembering John 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.

Thank you John McCain for your loyal service and the time you spent in in OUR HONOR. Rest in Peace.

-- dana, Florida

I did not personally meet Mr. McCain, but my son did when we lived at Dobson Ranch in the early 1980s. John had an office in the ABCO shopping center. One day, my son and his friend were riding bikes behind the stores when they spotted a pallet of soda at the back of McCain's office. Being young boys they started to take some soda, when John came out. Instead of yelling at the boys, he offered them each a soda. My son always remembered that little incident!

-- Joy, Arizona

I have long been an admirer of Senator McCain and very much wanted to see him become our president. I'm deeply grateful for his service to our country as a soldier, a statesman and a role model. To the McCain family, I extend my heartfelt sympathy on your great loss...and ours.

-- Anne, Wisconsin

Thanks You John for your service. Rest assured you will be missed. My condolences to your family.

-- Jeff, Missouri

To the McCain family; My families deepest respect to the TRUE PATRIOT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. History speaks for itself, and John McCain stands alone in his accomplishments. He would have made a historic president, but still took care of business for the common people. We are truly proud of the service your family committed to our country. THANK YOU

-- Doug, California

Senator McCain has showed the world what real leadership means - deliberate, thoughtful, and principled - regardless of personal difficulties. We are all richer for his example of true citizenship, and for his lifetime of service.

-- Brenda, Canada

I always felt a sense of ease with Mr. McCain being in our country’s government. I could trust that he would fight for what was right and needed to be done. I love that he spoke his mind and said things outright. I wish all his family sincere wishes at this difficult time.

-- Rebecca, Ohio

I never had the honor of meeting Sen. McCain, but I'm deeply appreciative of all he's done for the country. John, you'll be missed.

-- David, Colorado

God Bless him.

-- Andrew, California

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

True Hero, Man of Honor, my family and I had the honor to meet and speak with the greatest American hero of our times!

-- Ali, California

John McCain, thank you sir.

-- Al, Washington

I met Senator McCain when he was on the campaign trail in NH. I attended his town hall meeting in Wolfeboro, NH. I asked him if he would wear my son’s memorial bracelet. I know he has worn it since that day. This country has lost a true hero and patriot. I am proud to call him a friend! He will be sadly missed.

-- Lynn, Kentucky

You are a tough act to follow and will be missed. America thanks you for your service.

-- Vicki, Montana

My husband, a retired Vet, died of Alzheimer's in 2016. But when he was still clear of mind and could speak, he would constantly speak about Senator McCain and his strength, honesty and gentle personality. He didn't know the Senator personally. But it was a great comfort to him that Senator McCain "was there to help us all". Comfort to all of the McCain Family. He can now rest among the heroes.

-- Marie A., Virginia

He has always been one of my favorite people. I served as Sgt Major in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret). I also served as Mayor of my muicipaity for 2 terms. Condolences to the family on the loss of a TRUE HERO AND AMERICAN. Former Mayor Ray Cahoon

-- Raymond, Alabama

You were a leader and an inspiration to this country and the people who live here. We need more men like you.

-- Edmund, Oregon

With all of his dedication and honest effort, he gave much for this country.

-- Charles, Arizona

John was one of the good guys. I'm not American & not a fan of the Republicans. But John was a man to look up to, whatever your politics. You will be missed. RIP

-- John, United Kingdom

My name is Byron L. Moritz I am 19 years old and currently reside in Rochester Minnesota. As a loyal citizen of the United States of America and to our leaders. I would like to take time and mourn J.S.M . To his family, and friends i will have you all in my prayers for Mr. McClain and those grieving. May God Bless You all. I ask and call upon the Nation to Show Respect and Honor toward not only a Political Leader; but a WAR HERO who's name shail be remembered as America moves forward. Let not a warriors loss weigh on our shoulders; But let his bravery, courage, and strength leave a positive impact for future generations to come. R.I.P Brother. May God Bless your family. And May Senator McClain watch over his family and fellow Americans. A hero will always be welcome into the Almighty Lords House.

-- Byron, Minnesota

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear husband, father, warrior and true patriot. We are fortunate to follow in his footsteps, with the passion, grace and integrity that he evinced every day. Take what comfort you can knowing we will honour his memory by striving for the highest standards of conduct and service to that which is larger than ourselves.

-- Michaela, Canada

Mi mas sincera condolencia a la familia y a todos sus seres queridos, se ha perdido una grande persona y un ser humano extraordinario para la historia de EEUU . estara en mi memoria y en la de todos los americanos. un ciudadano español. gracias por poder expresar mis sentimientos.

-- jose javier, Spain

There is a belief that great people are even greater and have more influence in the after life. Certainly we can hope that Senator McCain will watch over us and continue to protect us from his new standing.

-- Joseph, Nevada

A truly loving father and kind man. Thank you for your service.

-- Teresa, 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

Dear McCain Family... I wrote both my Colorado Senators today because the passing of John McCain has left big shoes to fill. He did the job of three people! He wasn’t a political lemming... he was a true leader. A real statesman. His courage, strength, and honor are what all our politicians should emulate. While his party affiliation was important, his conscience and doing what was right was always more important. All our politicians should should heed that mantra. And learn how to work across the aisle instead of fighting like grade school kids in the sandbox. Senator McCain is the best example to the world of what it means to be an American, to live in a free democracy, and to be a true “son of Liberty”.

-- Diane, Colorado

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

John McCain was a diamond in the dust of Washington, D.C. He was a precious gem. Our sympathies to the family of an extraordinary man. Rest in peace, John. Chad and Barbara Zitta

-- Barbara, Pennsylvania

A great patriot that put his country before politics. He would have made a great President.

-- Gail, Florida

Thank you for your service to the United States of America, Senator John McCain! You have been a shining example to all of a hero, of a public servant, of a humanitarian, of a world leader! You were willing to fight for your country & die for it if needed. You never gave up. You endured torture that would have broken many. Your bravery is that of a super hero! You lived your life with dignity & have earned my respect as well as many throughout the USA & around the world! God bless you & your family! May you rest in peace, dear sir! You deserve it!

-- Wanda, Ohio

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 McCain was a rare individual and a true American hero. He will be greatly missed. It was my honor to work on his Presidential campaign. My sincere condolences to his close friends and family.

-- Becky, Missouri

The senator was a friend of Bulgaria! R.I.P!

-- Stoyko, Bulgaria

Senator McCain joins a long legacy of Arizona statesmen that have all made a difference in Washington D.C.: Senators Henry Fountain Ashurst, Carl T. Hayden, Ernest W. McFarland, Barry Goldwater, Dennis W. DeConcini, Jon Kyl. U.S House of Representatives: John Rhodes, Stewart Udall, Mo Udall, Bob Stump, Matt Salmon, John Shadegg. However, Senator John McCain, in our troubled times, stands as a warrior, an inspiration, a patriot and a good friend,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Barry M. Goldwater Jr Member of Congress, retired

-- Barry, Arizona

Honorably served and will be missed!!

-- Beverly, Arizona

Thank you for your service to our great Country! We honor you and miss you already

-- David, Florida

A great Patriot and warrior and most importantly a true American Hero who will be sorely missed. !

-- michael, Pennsylvania

I had never voted in my life, then I heard that John McCain was running for President of the United States. I voted for the first time - ever - for John McCain.

-- Teres, Pennsylvania

When I think of the legacy of John McCain I think of a man who was so humble, that he cared more about what God thought about him, than what others believed. He did not follow the crowd, nor run with whatever the latest fad was to be. Honesty and the ability to see through all the rhetoric was the mainstay of this wonderful patriot. We could all learn a lot from him and I hope those in government take a moment to realize who and what they have lost. Our country has grown a bit poorer with his passing...

-- Dave, California

Senator McCain stood by us when we were in a position to lose our house, and intervened with Bank of America on our behalf. His help was invaluable to us and I will never forget his kindness, nor his and his office staff's efforts. RIP

-- Jessica, Arizona

Eternal rest grant unto John McCain o Lord and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. May his family feel your comfort o Lord in these coming days

-- Daniel, Illinois

Our thoughts and prayers for the McCain family--may he rest in peace.

-- Robert, Michigan

My Deepest Sympathy to the family..He was truly a protector of our Freedom..He is now a Heavenly Angel ..

-- RoseAnn, Pennsylvania

Had Honor to meet this GREAT man prior to the Ronald Regan Presidents Dinner (D.C), Sen. McCain gave us a Photograph we will cherish, it's my wife with me & Sen. McCain, "Carolyn is the Rose between two thorns" I tell this story too many. This picture will be on display in our AZ vacation home. Our Nation has loss a Hero, & Icon of Freedom. We loved him & Honor his memory. We plan to attend the AZ service about 7 hours from Ca...God bless him & Family.

-- Frank X, California

Sorry for your loss

-- Joan, New York

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

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

I am deeply saddened with the news of John's passing but know he is with the Lord. God bless John and his family. Semper-fi LenG

-- Leonard F, California

The world has lost a great man. Thank you so much, Senator McCain. You have always been an inspiration. You would have been an amazing POTUS and a beacon for the entire free world. You have always been my hidden president. I salute you!

-- Andre, Germany

Honored to have voted for the Senator in 2000 Republican Presidental primary as well 2008 General election! One of the few votes in my lifetime that I am proud of. The country will be so much worse of without the unifying spirit of the late Senator. God bless his spirit and memory! My deepest condolences to the McCain family!

-- Dzafer, Illinois

Thank You

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

If so inclined, flowers may be sent to your local VA Hospital. Thank you.