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.
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
Well done good and faithful servant....
-- Susan, Texas
?I worked John McCain’s campaign in New Hampshire and was privileged to meet him several times... the last time we spoke was at Harris Teeter in Arlington VA. He shopped in the store across from our apartment. I reintroduced myself and we chatted about the F-35 Program and when were done he shook my hand and thanked me for my service... after all he did and was doing... what a guy!!!?
-- Kent, California
Mr John Mc Cain is and will be my my hero along with President Regan for a long time I wanted to go to corn bill to meet him in person, but just like the Grand cayon I was hopping that he be there all ways, now he is gone and the only thing that I have is his legacy, thank you John and God bless you always, I really would like to come and shake-the hand of the my hero s wife God bless you Sandy
-- Sal, Arizona
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
Sorry for your loss
-- Joan, New York
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 for your honorable service Sir. You will be greatly missed.
-- Cathy, California
Thank you Senator for your dedication to this nation. As a Ukrainian American I will also forever remember your support for Ukraine. RIP
-- Oksana, Washington
John McCain understood better than most what it means to be deprived of liberty. That’s why he became a passionate advocate for the liberty of people everywhere. Humans cannot reach their full potential unless they are free. Nor can America be safe in a world where tyranny is on the march. America’s greatest adversaries during his lifetime, from Imperial Japan to Putin’s Russia, emerged from non-democratic systems in which dictators invaded other nations to stay in power at home. The terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 incubated in the democratic deficits of the greater Middle East. Whether in China or Venezuela, military-ruled Burma or Hun Sen’s Cambodia, McCain took it personally when strongmen abused their citizens’ inherent rights – just as he celebrated democratic revolutions in the former Soviet Empire as victories of human dignity. People everywhere saw the best of America in him; he was the best his country had to offer the world. His spirit lives everywhere men and women are free.
-- Dan, Virginia
I am a democrat who always admired Senator McCain. He was what every American should aspire to be, and that was never so true as it is today. Our deepest condolences to the McCain family who has our thoughts and prayers. We will greatly miss you Maverick!
-- Mark, Florida
Thank You John for setting the example for our future generations to follow, that Country over Politics is Honorable. That owning your shortfalls and striving to do better is not a weakness, but a strength. Most importantly is the fact that you demonstrated what is meant by Duty, Honor, and Country. Thank You Sir...
-- Gerald, Michigan
John McCain was the greatest man of his generation. Also. of mine.
-- Tim, Maryland
What human being today would turn down a rescue from horrific conditions if his fellow brethren weren’t released? NONE. THIS GENTLEMAN IS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER
-- Helen, Florida
He was a flyer like my Father in Vietnam, they knew each other ! He was very nice to me when he came to Havasu !!! Never forget
-- Linda, Arizona
R E S P E C T- one word that embodies John McCain and all he stands for.
-- Cornelia, Georgia
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 am so saddened to learn of Senator McCain's passing. He is the epitome of patriotism, leadership, a true man of substance, character, morality, compassion and love. He served the United States and her people selflessly - always putting the welfare of others first. There is no one like him in that he was an exceptional man and will live forever as an example of what we should all aspire to be. He continues to serve in spirit and legacy as an inspiration and as the gold standard and essence of true American patriotism. This country was made better because of John McCain. If we could all be more like him just think how much better the world would be. Thank you John McCain for sharing yourself with us - we love you and will forever carry you in our hearts. You are forever our hero!
-- Amy, Oklahoma
Thank you for standing up for a free press and the First Amendment. And being honest about mistakes you made in life. We all have made some. It's called being human. You will be sorely missed!
-- Kerry, Arizona
A leader. A patriot. An honorable soul. A true American.
-- Adam, Michigan
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
He was an honorable man, so much admired for his kindness, honesty and decency. Senator McCain was very much loved by many.
-- Gwen, Missouri
Thank you sir, for your service to our country. We honor and appreciate your sacrifices. Condolences to your Family and Friends.
-- Jean & David, California
I loved supporting him for President, my heart was broken when Obama won, John you were a true hero. A true states man. You gave us reason to trust an believe. How lucky the Lord God is to have you. You will truly be missed. Please watch over us from that garden above.
-- Rhonda, New Mexico
Couple years ago I was at the Phoenix airport with my young son and son in law. I was sending off my son in law to another tour in Afghanistan as a highly decorated Special Forces soldier. Senator McCain came over to us and thanked my son in law for his service. They chatted privately for a few minutes and took pictures together. Amazing man. A real friend!
-- Lee, Arizona
Senator Mccain was a true hero and statesman. He will be missed by American citizens. I"m so sorry for your loss.
-- diane, Florida
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
My heart and prayers are with the McCain family. I am so "thankful" for his service to our country and his family. May God bless and comfort you all. What a great man and leader.
-- jan, Arizona
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
We wish to share our feelings about a true American hero.
-- Robert, Indiana
Many of our nations problems would be solved if everyone in Washington had the integrity of Senator John McCain. - Not a Republican.
-- Brad, Maine
John McCain, had he been elected President of the United States, would have not only been a very great president, he would have been able to unite the country, in spite of a hostel main stream media. There was something truly unique in John’s ability to bring any group into dialogue which ultimately benefited the whole. I’m very sad we’ve lost a leader irreplaceable in the younger generations.
-- Beth (Dorithy Elizabeth), Hawaii
Great Leader,our country will surely miss his leadership.Condolenses to his family.
-- Johnsie, North Carolina
Please keep watch from above, and help us when you can. It is with deepest sympathy, and regret, that we have to say goodbye. We will miss you John! May God bless and keep you whole and safe at his side. Until we meet again . . . .
-- Dorothy Cora, Arizona
please accept my condolence
-- george, New York
It was such an honor working on the 2008 campaign. If anyone deserved to be the President of this country, Senator John McCain was the one. Spent his entire life serving this country, what a loss to all Americans.
-- Candace, California
I did not know John McCain personally, but loved his sense of honor and integrity. My father was a Marine and taught me to always be honorable and stand up for what I believed in. I lost him at 81 years old and was very close to him. Married to Vietnam veteran also. This brave man will be missed and I know my Dad would have written too. God Bless him and Mrs. McCain and family Ruthie
-- Ruthie, New Jersey
God bless the McCain family and surround each of you with peace.
-- Theresa, Michigan
Sen. McCain was a true American hero, and an incredible American. I am proud to be part of a culture that, with the exception of the moronic, mendacious, slimy ball of fecal matter presently slumming in the WH, was proud to have John McCain as a part of, and a representative of this government; he was a true Man of the People, a warrior, and a man of ideals, who stood up for what he believed in, whatever the odds. Rest in Peace, Sen. McCain.
-- Kurt, California
Dear Senator John McCain. I want to thank you for everything you have done for this country. You have been a friend to all of us. You will not be forgotten.
-- Michael, Florida
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
I appreciate his service to our country -
-- David, California
Thank You Sir! A patriot and a hero - America will never see a political leader like him again.
-- John, Portugal
Rest In Peace Senator McCain. You inspired every person to reach higher and to be the best version of themselves, as you were, in service to your country and to mankind. Thank you for your service.
-- Sonia Garcia, Virginia
he put his fellow soldiers before himself. He put the country before himself. That's what a hero is. John McCain is a true hero.
-- Fred, Florida
I was a huge fan of Senator McCain. Unfortunately, as a Canadian, I could not vote for him but I did get to meet him in New Hampshire when he was first running for President and get him to sign his book. I have met a lot of politicians and VIPs in my life but he is the one who impressed me the most. I cannot help but feel that American and world politics would be much improved had he become President but they are at least a whole better for his extraordinary life and contributions. Rest in peace, Senator
-- Tim, Canada
Senator John S. McCain: Thank you so much for your service to our Country. Your memory, and all you have done in your life will be in my heart and mind forever. You were a great man and will be an inspiration for others.
-- David, New York
#IncredibleStrength - at a Public Town Hall John stood there and listened to every word without interrupting as a "disgruntled" Veteran read "a prepared speech", many pages long, time consuming, his raised voice and anger self-evident, criticizing John's Senate Record - then calmly, after asking the Veteran if he was finished, John added "if you can do better, run for the Senate".
-- Lance, Arizona
People like John McCain are what truly make America great!
-- Kippi, Tennessee
EL MUNDO HA PERDIDO A UN HEROE, UN EJEMPLO PARA TODOS. UN LUCHADOR. DESDE ESPAÑA MI MAS SENTIDO PESAME A LA FAMILIA, AMIGOS Y AL PUEBLO AMERICANO. DESCANSE EN PAZ
-- JUAN JOSE, Spain
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