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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 John McCain in 1985, when he spoke to my graduating class at Washington HS. I became a supporter and follower of his from that day forward. He was an amazing man with strong values. Arizona and America will not be the same without him.

-- Brent, Arizona

John was often commenting that we had know each other since the early '80s. We shared some fun experiences at Grand Canyon's El Tovar for lunches and dinners over the years. We rafted the Colorado, hiked the Canyon, and co- chairs of the GCNP Foundation. My favorite memory was introducing him at a Foundation Cookout. I had been a Vietnam helicopter pilot, but never experienced his pain or truma... I introduced him as MY HERO and as the next President of the United States. I am honored to have known him and have wonderful memories.

-- Allen, Arizona

Election 2008 inspired my son ( 13 year old at the time ) to be involved in politics. Together with me, we attended gatherings in support of John McCain. We believed that man of his moral standing was the ideal candidate for the presidency. Although, he didn't win, he continued to served the country in an exemplary manner. So very sorry for your loss. May the sweet memories be of solace at this painful time.

-- Nora, New Jersey

God bless this family. Remarkable gentleman. His family and world has lost a true leader.

-- Susan, Nevada

A true American. He had more guts than any other president.

-- Mir, Bangladesh

The world is in search of character-driven leaders today. Senator McCain’s ability to see this in well advance and started supporting and cultivating character-driven leaders through the McCain Institute for International Leadership is the true quality of MAN. Cultivating and supporting the special talent and/or character-driven leaders of tomorrow is the highest of goodness one can do in this life time. And I am grateful Senator McCain is leading this effort in the USA through Next Generation Leaders program and it was rare opportunity of great reflection and realization time in my life that changed my perception, ignorance, and Senator McCain is truly bringing the world peace next level through his great effort of supporting and bringing up the character-driven Next Generation Leaders of the world. In today’s politically polarized culture throughout the world, other politicians can learn from Senator McCain at least his way of putting country over the political party.

-- Gantuya, Mongolia

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

Peace with Lord.

-- Howard, California

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

-- mike, Washington

John was a great Hero to me. He would have been a great President! I will Forever remember his stewardship, grit, strength and courage! My life is so much stronger because of his Memories! Amen John you served America and the World well! God Speed! Sincerely Michael Charles Jensen of Long Beach CA

-- Mike, California

rest in peace faithful servant. so grateful for you service.

-- Peter, Arizona

I had the opportunity to talk with Senator McCain many times in Yuma and in DC. In 2008 I was a delegate from Yuma to the Republican National Convention in MN. Senator. McCain and family sat right in front of me and being there was just awesome. I went door to door for him in Vegas - it was my honor. God bless you Senator McCain - you are in a better place. Thank you for all you did for this country.

-- Cindy, Arizona

I am a regular American who has never met Sen. John McCain. However, I can say that I have always admired his strength and courage in light of what he went through during the Vietnam war. He could have come back, withdrew into his own world after the horrors he endured, but instead he continued to serve his country for decades to come, and raised a wonderful family. He is an American hero for the ages. Rest in Peace with our Lord and your family and friends who have gone before you. May Mrs. McCain and family know they are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

-- Carol, Florida

I am so thankful for Senator McCain's service and sacrifice for our country. I have appreciated his communication through the years when I reached out to him even though I wasn't from Arizona. We are keeping your family in our prayers!

-- Ken, Arkansas

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

Although I never met him, as a chef, I prepared food for his team during the 2008 Civil Forum at Saddleback Church. It was an exciting privilege, and debate with then candidate Obama. I'm sure if Senator McCain had won (as I hoped and voted), our country would be in much better shape. I am sure he was received into heaven with "well done, good and faithful servant." God bless his family and may the Lord comfort them with peace, grace, and strength in these difficult days ahead. Thank you John McCain for your service, strength and dedication.

-- sally, California


-- joeann, Kentucky

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

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

My daughter and I were lucky enough to meet Senator McCain on Mackinac Island many years ago. He was one of the few men who still had integrity. Sending deepest sympathy to his wife, children, family and friends. He will be missed deeply.

-- Chris, Michigan

Peace to you fellow Vietnam veteran. You are an honorable gentleman!

-- stuart, Hawaii

Few people accepted the call to duty that others ran from. You are a man that was for the people and for this country. I am grateful for your sacrifice and your families. Thank you. May God bless you and your family

-- Pam, Louisiana

I first met John McCain during the 1982-83 school year at Northern Arizona University. I remember it was a small event and John got up and addressed the group; and he shared his vision as he embarked on his first elected office representing Arizona. I left that event and remember telling a good friend how impressed I was by JOHN MCCAIN! All these years later I still feel the same. John McCain was a true patriot and he will be missed by All Americans! RIP dear friend! Thank you for your Leadership!! As a young student, JOHN was the first politician I ever endorsed without the influence of Family or Friends.

-- Andrew D., Illinois

Greatest hero of our time. Thank you for the examples you have set.

-- Lien, Maryland

I'll never forget Sen. McCain's graciousness when he invited me and a videographer into his home after I called to do a TV news story in 1994. I was new in Phoenix television and he made me feel so welcome. We met his wife and children and watched some boxing on tv with him too. Everytime I saw him in the public eye for so many years later, I remembered that day. He was a great American and a great person.

-- Dennis, Indiana

Thank you for giving our children an example of what an American hero is. May your legacy inspire many to lead.

-- Leigh, North Carolina

Fair winds and following seas from a Navy family.

-- Christina, Virginia

A great warrior for the United States. Gone but will never be forgotten.

-- Bruce, California

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. McCain was at our store Morse Sporting Goods in Hillsboro. NH and gave a speech during his campaign. We have a nice picture of him on display at our store.

-- Walter, New Hampshire

We never met or saw him speak personally but always respected his service to our country. Thank you Senator John McCain.

-- Martin & Cheryl, Wisconsin

McCain Patriarch. American. Patriot. My-Kind-Of-Republican. Proverbs 31:8. Combative. Collaborator . Humble. Noble. Funny. Unpredictable. Honorable. Character. Intellectually Sovereign. Solid. Scrupled. Passionate. Unique. Tenacious. Unequivocal. Bookish. Incontrovertible. Steadfast. Vodka Snob. Charming. .........So Missed.

-- M, Texas

As a fellow Naval aviator and Marine Corps pilot John may you rest in peace I flew 369 missions in Vietnam and I honor the service that you gave both in your flying skills and your courage to withstand the torture that you had to undergo I rescued many down Pilots as well as many marines Army and others I wish you the very best God bless you and may you rest in peace go navy blue Semper Fi

-- Thomas, Indiana

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

as a wife of a Marine jet pilot serving his tour in Vietnam , I was so afraid my husband could be shot down and taken as POW. We have a bracelet to this day framed on the wall in our company of a RIO of his f-4 phantom still listed as missing after all these years. after 121 missions Richard did come home but lost about 1/3 of his squadron. We saw Orson Swindle come off the plane in 73' whom rich had met in the Philippines on R&R and a fellow POW of Sen McCain and have followed Sen McCain's career. We send our sincere regards to the family and this time of our lives during the war will never be forgotten and those that served. jan & Rich Buckley

-- janet, California

Words can’t wipe away your tears. Hugs won’t ease your pain. But hold on to your memories. Forever they’ll remain. My heart goes out with sorrow when I heard the bad news. I am sending love and remembrance and keep John's family in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time.

-- Sassan, California

A man of principle, honesty and courage. I fear for our country without him in it.

-- Mary, New York

I lived on the site of his bombing target in Hanoi (2015-2016) next to the lake he landed in. Everyday I walked past his memorial - John McCain, Air Force! The Vietnamese could not understand how a man flying was not in the Air Force. I visited Hoa Lo (Hanoi Hilton) often and found the display of his rescue photos heart wrenching. I have always had absolute respect for John McCain. For his service, his leadership, his willingness to do what's right even if it costs, and for his candor. God Bless John McCain and may he rest in richly deserved peace.

-- Karen, Pennsylvania

Senator McCain was one of a kind, a true American hero. He was courageous, and honorable. He served his country and Arizona with greatness. I was so proud that he was our Senator. May you rest in peace and God bless you.

-- Pam, Arizona

While I didn’t always agree with Senator McCain, he was a patriot, and on two occasions I wrote him, he either answered or sent my letter to my congressman. I admired him, and even if I didn’t always agree, I thought he was a patriot, a man who went thru a living hell so many of us can’t imagine, and he served his country with honor and A sense of what was right. May God bless him always!

-- Carlos, Texas

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

A honest man, a fair human, thank you.

-- Uwe, Germany

As a Starbucks barista in Cottonwood, Az for the past 11 years, I had the privilege of making the Senator, and his family their favorite drinks several times a year. We never spoke politics. We talked about our kids, we talked about movies, we shared a lot of laughs. He got a kick out of a John McCain bobble head my son bought me for Christmas, and I made fun of his wearing the same shirt every time I saw him. I respected him for his unending service to our country, I loved him for his sense of humor and affection. Rest east, my dear friend, the holidays will never, ever be the same for us in the Verde Valley.

-- Sandy, Arizona

Rest in Peace, Warrior!

-- William, Indiana

His military sacrifice in the line of duty..

-- Bob, New York

He was a great man respected by most Canadians. He was a real hero who loved his country and knew how to interact with representatives of the world. He would’ve been a perfect President. May he rest in peace.

-- John, Canada

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

John McCain represented the best of our country. He served his God, his country and his family in true style. He believed in discussing our differences and reaching a compromise position. The D's and Rs need to follow this philosophy . Unity should be our goal.

-- Linda, New Jersey

I am grateful to Senator McCain for your serving and contribution to the USA. Please Rest in Peace. I pray for you. God bless Senator McCain!

-- Larry, California

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.