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.
Despite being Russian, and totally an opponent to the Respectable Mr. McCain views, I have to pay a tribute, homage and respect to the real patriot of his country. That's the kind of people our countries stand on. Rest in peace, Mr. McCain.
-- Alexander, Russia
Thank You so Very Much. Bryan Brinegar
-- Bryan, California
From one sailor to another. Fair winds and calm seas. I may not have always agreed with you but I have always respected you.
-- MARK, Arizona
Rest in peace, Great American Patriot. Ukrainian people will remember you as the true Friend. My sincere condolences to Senator John McCain family.
-- Inna, New York
John McCain was the epitome of an Honorable human being. I remember I wanted him to win the presidential election very much. May he rest in peace
-- lisa, New York
I never met Senator McCain. I am Canadian. My condolences to the McCain family. May your memories of him be a blessing for you. I salute his tremendous courage and decency. May his soul rest in peace.
-- Robert, Canada
To the McCain family, my family and I wish to offer our sincere condolences on your loss. To me, Senator McCain personifies the meaning of what it is to be a real American patriot. He truly followed the path of Robert Jordan by sacrificing for his country. I admire him for admitting that he after all was human and capable of making mistakes. But he said that's ok as long as you own it. As a Vietnam veteran I would just like to say REST IN PEACE may God be with you
-- Ruben, California
It is a fact that Sen. John McCain is from the United States, but he is to serve the people everywhere. He did not choose to only become a leader for the people of the America, but he chose to lead and empower thousands of young men and women of the world to become leaders. His commitment to excellence has inspired thousands, and his actions will do touch the lives of millions. McCain’s fight was for a cause greater than self-interest. For me, it is his greatest legacy. This rich legacy of Sen. John McCain will take the new generation of leaders to a level that they can make the world more peaceful.”
-- Siham, Iraq
Senator McCain was a fearless, principled statesman. Honor was an integral part of his character and his service to our country an exemplary example of what a hero is. His arms were wide and strong enough to reach across the aisle of his political rivals to make our world a better place for all of us. I am a Democrat and I really liked this exceptional representative of the Republican Party. It is with much sorrow to say goodbye to him but I am grateful for his years of service and to his family. Thank you all so very much.
-- Eva, California
Senator McCain gave a truly memorable speech at my graduation at the University Of Penn. in 2001. He opened with this statement: “The invitation to give this commencement address is a great honor for someone who graduated fifth from the bottom in the United States Naval Academy Class of 1958. To stand here in full academic regalia, and address an audience of distinguished academics and their learned students has reaffirmed my long held faith that in America anything is possible
-- Vick, Arizona
Navy Aviator McCain was honored by our Uncle Paul Carr. Paul flew during WII and lived his life as Sentor John McCain, a defender of the Constitution of the United States. As a Vietnam Vet and an American I am most proud of his ethics and Caring of his fellow man. John McCain was God’s Gift to us all.
-- John, Texas
We in Germany are grateful for this honorable and brave statesman of the whole western Community. R.I.P.
-- Jochen, Germany
A true American Hero !!! My family and I will always remember you and keep you in our prayers...
-- Ernesto, Florida
I had the honor of being a delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention. I enjoyed meeting Senator McCain there and remain proud to have helped nominate him for President.
-- David, Georgia
He gave me a glimpse of what a George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's Courage, Honor and devotion to the truth was like. They would have been proud to have known him as a friend.
-- Garrick, New York
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
rest in peace faithful servant. so grateful for you service.
-- Peter, Arizona
But we are sad. We need him more than ever.
-- Nora, Massachusetts
I did not have the honor to know the senator personally . But I know his actions matched his life. He demonstrated what America is when it's operating at its it's best. COURAGE INTEGRITY AND COMPASSION. A TRUE AMERICAN HERO. WELL DONE MY FAITHFUL SERVANT ENTER N REST IN GODS HOUSE. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN.
-- M, Alaska
I do not have a personal memory of this great man but his heroism, service and love for country compelled me to volunteer for his Presidential campaign. I can’t help but wonder if we would have been in a better place as a country had he been elected as President. May his example live on.
-- Deborah, Florida
Dear John Families, I really sorry to hear that he is now in heaven. He was the most greatest braver and peacemaker in the world. I am sure we can meet and see each other sin the heaven later. I like to pray for him and all families. Dear God bless him and his lovely families as well as Americans. Sincerely Gerald Lee
-- Gyeryoung Gerald, South Korea
I remember Sen. McCain at Wright State University introducing Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. It was a fun and optimistic time. I will always remember his patriotism.
-- Mary S, 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 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
Thank you John, we all aspire to be more like you!
-- Rafael, Florida
While I often disagreed with his political choices, I always deeply respected him as a man of honor. Rest in peace, John McCain, you were my Senator.
-- Bonnie, Arizona
You set the example for us to follow. Well done my friend! Now take your place in the Kingdom of God.
-- Texanna, Florida
Peace to you fellow Vietnam veteran. You are an honorable gentleman!
-- stuart, Hawaii
Amazing hero and patriot. He will forever be an inspiration to many of us about service to our country. Blessed to have worked for his campaign and honored to know what kind of man and person he was. A generation of dedication will always be remembered. Eternal rest grant grant unto thee Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he Rest In Peace. Always forward and God speed sir.
-- Mario, California
John reminded me of my late Father, who also served in combat in Vietnam as a soldier in the Marine Corps. My dad thought much of John McCain and said so on a number of occasions. My support of the Presidential Nomination of John McCain was in part a way of honoring my own father, but also a way of honoring a man who served a cause greater than himself. John truly loved America and all the way to the end. I attended the Republican Party of Florida's Convention in Orlando where I was one of a few present who were publicly supporting John. It seemed that his eventual nomination was in doubt based on the number of his supporters present there. Yet, it was of course an electric evening. May the Peace of Christ that Passes All Understanding Keep the McCain Family in His Grace to Life Eternal. Amen.
-- Jason, Florida
God bless you sir, John Mc Cain. I admire your leadership
-- Kees, Netherlands
Thank you Senator John McCain for your support of the military.
-- Msg David, Texas
"We have to fight. We have to fight against propaganda and crackpot conspiracy theories. We have to fight isolationism, protectionism, and nativism. We have to defeat those who would worsen our divisions. We have to remind our sons and daughters that we became the most powerful nation on Earth by tearing down walls, not building them." America will be poorer for losing the voice of this brave. RIP
-- Michael, Texas
So sorry for the loss to your family and our nation. Senator McCain was a true statesman.
-- carol, New Jersey
and this the power family I m send though my senator McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled 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 johns 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 johns life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving this world a better place for generations to come the McCain family
-- ashley, Florida
My wife once help serve soup in your house for Brophy. The next time we met you and i brought it up. The Senator said you can serve soup any time you want for us. As a defense exec i met him many times and was always remarked about his honesty We will all miss him. By the way my son interned for the senator
-- Jerry, Arizona
Godspeed Senator McCain.
-- Stanley, Maryland
I hope John McCain’s influence will guide America in the days and months and years to come. His character, bravery and heart will never be forgotten. He would have been our greatest President, I believe. We need him now more than ever. I feel we the people let him down. Maybe now we can be an example for him.
-- Barbara J, New York
John, Senator. You always be a giant among man kind. May you rest in peace in Heaven. Love you.
-- Francois, Idaho
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
God Bless. Sleep tight.
-- Tim, United Kingdom
Praying for the family of John McCain at this time of loss. I grew up inspired by his focus and dedication to serve the people of our country. His story is one that embellished the American dream, a true American Hero. His memory will be an example that will continue to inspire the people of this great country. God bless.
-- Tim, Georgia
People like John McCain are what truly make America great!
-- Kippi, Tennessee
I met the Senator in 2007 during the NH Primary. He was both a gentleman and a great teacher. He was very kind and made sure I was comfortable at every campaign event, while knowing I was a Democrat. I will never forget the time I spent with the Senator. It was both an honor and a privilege to meet him. He inspired me then, and still inspires me to work in public service, as I currently do in the House of Representatives. I don’t feel like he’s gone. Because the Senator was such a force his spirit will be with us forever, however I miss him already. I hope in some way I can accomplish just a fraction of what he has done for this Country. I love this Country, and I will continue to serve it in the best way I can. #RIPMCCAIN
-- Angela, Ohio
In 1982 John McCain sat down with myself and so to be wife Karen and talked to us at Temple Beth Israel. We occasionally cross ed paths again at different sporting events in the Valley of the Sun. I did volunteer work with his son Andrew at different Fiesta Bowl Events. Hopefully John McCain Name with be on different buildings throughout Arizona. Mr. McCain helped my son Nathan play football in the Down Under Bowl game in Australia in 2009. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ?? STATE OF ARIZONA ??.
-- MICHAEL, Arizona
I have always admired his courage. I enjoyed listening to him speak and reading his life story. I love how he addressed the American people “My Friend(s)”. I can still hear his voice in my head, “county first”. I am an immigrant and I know America is exceptional because of people like John McCain.
-- Sueet, Maryland
While I never met the Senator he is someone I have admired and respected. His putting country ahead of party is what all elected officials should do. While I did not always agree with political stands I always respected him. He will be sorely missed
-- Barton, New Jersey
You were a leader and an inspiration to this country and the people who live here. We need more men like you.
-- Edmund, Oregon
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
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
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