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.
we miss you and we prays you alway..............
-- HUONG, Virginia
My sincere condolences and thanks to the McCain family for their service as well as Sen McCain's.
-- Becky, Kentucky
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
He should have our president. We honor him and his loving family. We only wish he could know how many responded with grief after his loss. God Bless you all. We intend to commemorate him with a future pledge
-- Linda and Howard, Virginia
John McCain was my hero and role model, I served 9 1/2 years in the Submarine Force and 22 yrs. in the Texas Legislature... I modeled my legislative career after him including my engagements with the press.. I was a better officer and legislator because of John McCain. Rest In Peace Steve Ogden ‘73 Non Sibi
-- Steve, Texas
Our prayers are with your family
-- thomas, New York
Country before party, allies before foes, liberty before despots. Living currently in Europe I was asleep when the news of the untimely death of John McCain came. A friend from DC who knew the Senator well woke me up. My reaction was very simple: I cried and I am not ashamed of it. RIP.
-- Giles, Switzerland
I feel grateful for service and his love of family and his country
-- Betty, Oregon
While serving with Pilots in the USAF in 1969, we followed this hero in the Hanoi prison as well as the other prisoners. I had the honor to meet him last year and tell him. I also told him that in 2004 I helped him during a debate at Saddleback Church in Orange County where he and Mr. Obama were interviewed by Pastor Rick Warren. Last year he thanked me. I thank John McCain!
-- Bill, Arizona
A true hero and patriot. We thank him for his service, love and courage for our Country. He was always there with sincere help when called upon. Our condolences go out to his family during this time. God bless him and may he Rest In Peace with Our Lord.
-- Sandra, Arizona
Senator McCain is a true American hero. Inspirational and a fresh breath of air in a polluted political circle. May God welcome home his child. Que Dios lo bendiga!
-- Jorge, New York
Dear All, We are Canadian but have watched with great respect over many, many years how Senator McCain unflinchingly always chose the correct and most positive road for American citizens and America, often disregarding partisan politics. America, and more especially his loved family, have lost a truly great Patriot, husband and father, and person who cared selflessly for the greater good. Not only has America, but the World, has lost a person that we all loved. Our thoughts go out to the McCain family and all Americans who identified with his always most laudable causes. Gob Bless John, his family and America.
-- Norman, Canada
God Bless. Sleep tight.
-- Tim, United Kingdom
I have admired John McCain for years I remember when he was a POW and how courageous he was during this time. Our country needs more people like with who serve our country. His honesty and fairness needs to be more prevalent. May he Rest In Peace and be remember for the hero he was to our country.
-- Elaine, Pennsylvania
Senator John McCain, you will always be our hero. No-one can fill the vacuum you have left behind.You will be truly missed. May your sweet soul REST IN PERFECT PEACE. Our sincere condolences to the McCain Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
-- Madonna, Arizona
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
I worked on his Presidential campaign and was devastated when he wasn't elected as our President. He was a Hero and gentleman may he rest in peace.
-- Sally, New York
Our deepest sympathies to your family in this time of loss! We thank you for the sacrifice you all made as he served our nation diligently in war and in peace! Blessings!!!
-- Barb, Iowa
My prayers go to john McCain Family he will be remember
-- Anthony, Pennsylvania
Our country most definitely lost a hero. I am proud that I reside in the same state as John McCain. He will be greatly missed.
-- Lynne, Arizona
The death of Senator McCain is not only a great loss in the US, his death is a loss for all democrats in the world who fight for freedom and their believes. Senator McCain was an extraordinary and independent personality who did not just say what the present leadership wants to hear. The current policy is poor with characters like him.
-- Torsten, Germany
While a Senator and Presidential Candidate in 2008 we were very lucky to attend a wonderful campaign stop Senator McCain made in Miami, Fl. It was late at night but the mood and crowd was electric. God Bless you Senator and your entire wonderful family!
-- Richard, Florida
Thank you for your service. You are a true American hero
-- Nancy, Virginia
We are sorry that we did not know you personally, it would have been and honor. Thank you Senator McCain for the role model you became for all Americans. The world is a much better place for the example you set. Our deepest sympathy to the McCain family and this nation. We have lost a great man.
-- Betty and Ralph, New York
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
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of my friend (many years ago) John....he was the greatest......I will give a donation to the Humane Society in memory of our great Senator.....Peg Matteson. Solterra, Lakeside
-- Mrs Margaret F. Peg, Arizona
Senator John McCain was a true American hero and a champion for All people. He made the world a better place through his actions and words. Rest In Peace, Senator.
-- Stephen, New York
John McCain set the highest moral example for all of us, regardless of political affiliation, to uphold. I pray that his example will resonate throughout political circles and that civil discourse will return to the seats of power in our country. It was my highest honor to shake the hand of this great man during his presidential campaign in Kansas City. May we all live by the example of a life of service and civility that John McCain epitomized. Thank you, God, for the life of John McCain and for giving him the strength of spirit to endure and keep fighting for what he believed in and the America he cherished. Farewell, Senator. We are all blessed to have known you and have you among us!
-- JAMES, Missouri
My Deepest Sympathy to the family..He was truly a protector of our Freedom..He is now a Heavenly Angel ..
-- RoseAnn, Pennsylvania
As an immigrant, I am proud of all your legacy, we will miss you Senator Mc. Cain for his brave and resilient personality. The world needs more heroes like you. God bless all your family.
-- Ismar, Texas
His 2008 concession speech showed the Great man he was. Rest well John. Clyde McDonald
-- Clyde, Washington, D.C.
John McCain, although we never met we share a Vietnam War experience. I served at Hue City during TET 1968. We all knew of the Americans being tortured at the Hanoi Hilton. We could not imagine the horror of what you and the other prisoners were going through. Remarkably, following the war you continued to your death to uphold American values and ideals and serve your country with honor and a sense of humor. You are a true American hero John McCain. You will be missed greatly and remembered in history as one of the great Americans of all time. My heart felt sympathy goes out to your loving family.
-- Ben, California
You will be missed my friend. My memories in our work to make America what it is today.
-- Randall Spreitzer, Arizona
My thoughts and prayers are with the family of John McCain.
-- Holly, Connecticut
I was lucky enough to meet him briefly on a political science field-trip to Washington D.C. He was friendly and not what I would have pictured as a political figure which seemed at odd with the busy political culture and life in the capitol. It was great to see someone so down-to-earth and not too busy to say hello and greet some college students from Bellevue, Washington.
-- Barbara, Washington
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
John McCain is the only candidate for president that I, a life-long democrat, have financially supported.
-- Lawrence, Oregon
God bless you sir, John Mc Cain. I admire your leadership
-- Kees, Netherlands
Senator McCain transcends party ideology and selfish party discipline. His driving force is the unwavering faith that he has in the true values of American democracy. Straightforward speaking, ready to take coordinated action, showing respect towards his opponents, able to admit his mistakes, and selfless – these are the qualities that McCain possesses, and they make him a leader who has and will influence many generations of people not only in America, but all around the world. Sometimes it can seem that people of such magnitude only exist in history books, but Senator McCain is here and now. He has taught and inspired and he will keep teaching and inspiring. America can be proud to have a son like Senator McCain.
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
Thank you for your service to our country, Sir. May His Grace and Blessings be bestowed on your family. A true patriot and leader...
-- Kathy, Virginia
Iconic example of "A good man"
-- Leo, New Zealand
I was and had been a huge supporter of John McCain! I’m so saddened to hear of his passing! My thoughts and prayer go out to the McCain family! Thank You John McCain for your Service and all that it intails!!!!!This country lost the best of the best !!!!!
-- Lori, Michigan
Senator McCain, with Don Imus, was completely responsible for increasing the life insurance of fallen soldiers. He truely cared about those in the military and was a voice for their welfare. God Bless Senator McCain and thank you for all you have done for the USA.
-- Anne, Michigan
A true American Hero !!! My family and I will always remember you and keep you in our prayers...
-- Ernesto, Florida
A true American hero. May God rest his soul
-- Neal, Connecticut
Sincere condolences to the McCain family. Senator McCain was a great gentleman. An outstanding person within the human race.
-- Ellen, Belgium
You set the example for us to follow. Well done my friend! Now take your place in the Kingdom of God.
-- Texanna, Florida
You will be missed. Continue to watch over us. Thank you for your service Our American Hero. RIP
-- paula, New York
I always admired his clear stands and his military career. The US lost one of their moral leaders in a time of uncertainness. Rest in peace Salute
-- Alexander, Germany
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