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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.

I met Senator McCain during his 2008 Presidential run, One of the highlights of my life. Unfortunately he lost, but I was struck by his display of character when defending President Obama as a good family man when a constituent expressed that she did not trust him. That’s what I will remember most about him. His character…

-- Robert, New Jersey

A truly great person in every way. I am proud he was our senator and represented Arizona well. Thank you so much for your service to the United States of America and God. He served all people. Thank you for representing us well. Rest in God. Love and highest regards for Senator John S. McCain and to his wife and family. God be with you all. Thank you.

-- Dominique A., Arizona

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

A man to be respected.

-- Wendy, Connecticut

I only know him from T.V. and the Newspaper, But he was an AMERICAN HERO! R.I.P. MR .MACAIN!!

-- Robert, Florida

John McCain was my hero and role model. I want to be like John McCain

-- Hector, Texas

America is a better place because of Senator John McCain.

-- Our Family, Washington

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

Our deepest condolences. Senator McCain was a true American Hero, a maverick and not just an individual that cared deeply for his friends, family and loved ones but a Senator who fought for the people and cared deeply for every American. Rest In Peace Senator, your work is done Respectfully John Connors

-- John, New Hampshire

The truest definition of an American Patriot. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to our great state and nation. May your life be an inspiration to others. God Bless Senator McCain and his family. My deepest condolences, a fellow American.

-- Denise, Arizona

Thank you Sir for your service. Prayers and love to your family. I feel proud to know now that he is on the Right side of our Father, watching over us. Sincerely, Bert Druckenbroad

-- Bert, Ohio

The first time I met John and Cindy McCain was in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hills Hilton at a dinner and a reception on that fateful primary night during the 1999-2000 campaign. All I can remember was that genuine smile and his heart filled thanks for our support. Our conversation were spurred by our hopes to create a middle ground that the Republic Party could then build on. Nonetheless, his fight to create bi-partisan unity in the Senate led to another run for the White House. Serving on his Small Business council in Ohio in 2008 I saw the spark for change again and once again felt his desire for a unified party. I was so proud to help John McCain in both California and Ohio. His selflesness and his heart will be missed but we shall carry on his fight for a unified America. God bless

-- Pierre, Ohio

Live on Senator. I will always remember the kind words you shared with the Public at the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy.

-- Fred, Florida

R E S P E C T- one word that embodies John McCain and all he stands for.

-- Cornelia, Georgia


-- SHARON, Arizona

I didn’t know John McCain but admired him as a true Statesman! I am sorry to say there don’t seem to be many true Statesmen left Who have the courage to put country above party and ego. I hope his legacy and the outpouring of condolences will inspire our current leaders to take the highroad And follow his example.

-- Linda, Florida

Because of Senator McCain, I feel there is always hope in humanity. I am very grateful for your contribution to good of mankind. You will be missed always!

-- Tin, Wisconsin

John, was a hero, gracious, and authentic. It was a pleasure working on his campaign for President, and knowing that he had a sense of right and wrong, and looked at inclusion of all classes of persons foremost. God bless, and condolences on your loss and the loss to this Nation. Sincerely,

-- Steve, Michigan

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

The very definition of HERO. Thank you for giving yourself to us.

-- Betty, Illinois

I had the honor of meeting Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain at a fundraiser many years ago. He shared a very funny story about how his grey hair made everyone at the kindergarten think that he was a grandfather instead of a father. When we visited his cell in Vietnam, I could not hold back the tears - no doubt the others on our tour could not understand why I was so affected, but I felt that it was more personal since we actually met. Senator McCain was a true hero and his commitment to our country and his service are an inspiration. He leaves behind a truly amazing legacy. Our deepest condolences to the McCain family and particularly to Mrs. McCain.

-- Polina, California

RIP, the whole world is proud of your legacy. As a Syrian i thank you for the support and help you have offered to the Syrian people. My God mercy your sole and may God bless you.

-- Feras, Syria

To the family: I am sorry for your loss. I watched Senator McCain on television as he fought for and stood for his beliefs. God be with the family in their time of bereavement.

-- Jacqueline, Virginia

One of my proudest moments was speaking for him at the Iowa Caucus, and then voting for him, against all odds that fall. I will always believe that the issues we are struggling with today would not have been so extreme or intractable had he won in 2008. I would have followed him into fire if he had asked. He spent 6 years in a box in Asia, for me, my family and this country. Godspeed.

-- Charles, Iowa

He was a man of true integrity and love for this country and humanity. You will be sincerely missed but remembered as the great force you are.

-- Alicia, Maryland

Good bye Senator McCain,thank you for your service, you were a real hero.. You'll be gone but never forgotten. Rest in peace

-- Rose, Massachusetts

John McCain put Arizona on the map for politics. I'm proud to call myself an Arizonan. Thank you Senator McCain for all you did for this country.

-- Jamie, Arizona

My husband & I contacted Sen McCain some years ago. We had a friend Robert Keys who was dying in hospital in AZ. He was a serviceman who admired Sen McCain. I called his office & asked that the Senator send Mr Keys a letter of appreciation for his service. He received that letter a few days before he died & it meant so much to him. So I called his office to thank him. Now I thank him again. God bless to you all. PS His daughter framed that letter

-- Charles & Celia, California

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

My entire job experience has been in one way or another working for Senator John McCain. His presidential staff hired me two days out of college, and I have been a proud member of Team McCain ever since. John McCain taught me the importance of hard work, the fact that sometimes setbacks are actually doors opening elsewhere, and the true meaning of being an American….(and that campaigns build character and are the best place to find friends and teammates.) I will miss Senator McCain so much, but I know his legacy lives on in all of us that knew him and those who will read his books, study his legacy and strive to make our nation safer and stronger.

-- Whitney, Virginia

A TRUE hero, may he Rest In Peace.

-- Thomas, Virginia

I am a physician who helped take care of Senator McCain's kids. We had been out of the country several July 4th's. My daughter asked it we could stay in the US one year and John's office was helpful I setting up tours in DC. We asked to meet him when we came back to AZ. When we met in 2005, I reminded him who I was, asked him to run for President and offered to be his running mate. He thought a minute, said my kids are alive and "OK, you're in"! When we asked him how the average American could make a difference, he responded to keep the memory of the holocaust alive. He then quoted from Jewish authors. What a thrill and honor to have met him and have our family discuss this with him. We will never forget this honor to be with him.

-- Alvin, Arizona

Thank you sir for every thing you did for this great country you will be missed god bless .

-- mike, Washington

I thank you for your service. You are the only politician to whom I’ve contributed campaign funds. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

-- Susan, Ohio

I served a tour of duty in Vietnam between 1968 and 1969 just after Tet. I was also stationed in Panama while Senator McCain' s father was the Base Commander at Amador, Canal Zone so the name and service of the McCain family has always been highly respected for their superb service to our country. Senator McCain will be missed more then we know. My deepest sympathy for his family and may he rest in peace - more then anyone I know, he earned it!

-- Edward, Nevada

I voted for John for president! I too was a Vietnam veteran! I always looked to him as a leader! He voted his heart and beliefs! John put his country first!

-- Gary, Montana

He was the first, and only politician who spoke for me-- a Vietnam vet. Rest In Peace

-- David, Vermont

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

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

-- Stoyko, Bulgaria


-- HARVEY, Ohio

I worked for John McCain"s election in the Bay Area ,California .Met him briefly at at the College auditorium at DVC. I admired and hoped we would have a man like him leading our country.He lead our world !God bless him and give this family our love. His example will endure

-- Fernando, California

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of John McCain.

-- Holly, Connecticut

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

Senator McCain will always be remembered by us as an American Hero and a man who served the American people his whole life. Thank you John McCain.

-- Mr. & Mrs. George, Arizona

About three years ago we were at the Tee Pee Restaurant in Phoenix, and we’re thrilled to see Senator McCain in the flesh! Our deepest condolences to the McCain family. It is a great loss.

-- Andrew, Arizona

Powerful statesman, representative of all citizens not just a party...a true naan of the people. Thank you for your service! Bless you

-- Christine, Pennsylvania

My deepest condolences to your family. He was a True Hero. Rest In Peace.

-- Patrice, New Hampshire

Senator John S. McCain was one of the most inspirational characters of my lifetime. I was an US Army Spec. 4 in Vietnam from 1969 -1970 and witnessed John's return home on the television. I remember being so impressed with his service and the enormous difficulty attached to his captivity. I tell and have told my three children of his incredible courage, service, dedication and honor to this great country. As a politician he represented action, problem solving, respect for colleagues on both sides and an affection for country and respect for its people unrivaled by other members of Congress. He will be sorely missed and our great institutions have lost a great advocate. God Bless John S. McCain and Cindy and his entire family. Please accept the appreciation of a grateful nation.

-- Michael J, New York

He was a brave and valuable man, thanks for all your done and sacrifices.

-- barbara, North Carolina

John McCain and I flew, on the A4 Skyhawk , from NAS Cecil Field, Florida to KINGSVILLE, TEXAS; he was speaking to future Navy pilots. The Sky Hawk was the type of airplane he flew in the Navy; I will never forget his smile after making a perfect landing back at Cecil Field. We enjoyed our flight and enjoyed the hoagie in Texas before we flew back to Florida. Then Itold him, "You will be making Admal and given a Carrier to command." To my surprise, I saw him on TV as Senetore of Arizona. He answered. "Alfredo, I am going into politics" When I found out he was a Senetor, I said " when he says he will do something; he does it. me he was going into polytecs. WHERE he was giving a conference. was giving at Kingsville Texas. We flew out of NAVAL AIR STATION CECIL, FL.

-- Alfredo, Florida

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.