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.
Senator McCain was very nice person he seemed to be down to earth not one of these people that didn't like to interact with other people I got to see him a couple of times at the arena coyote Arena never was lucky enough to meet him rest in peace Senator John McCain
-- Rhonda, Arizona
My condolences to his family and friends, he stood for his beliefs and this country and thats why I voted for him when he ran for President
-- Dennis, Ohio
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
I was fortunate to meet and to learn from John McCain; but here, I will share a story about a book autograph. I took my young daughter and a copy of Faith of My Fathers to a Tucson event. In the backyard of the private residence, I noticed that at least 50 people had also brought the book. I returned to the front to ambush him. He arrived, promptly signed his book, and was sincerely impressed upon hearing it would be a gift for my father. As media began to record the event, I noticed that my daughter had found a porch swing and was testing the height limits on it. She ignored me and continued to play. So somewhere, there is a video and photographic record of me watching Senator McCain sign his book, and of my daughter ignoring both of us on a swing in the background.
-- Gerald, Arizona
There is a belief that great people are even greater and have more influence in the after life. Certainly we can hope that Senator McCain will watch over us and continue to protect us from his new standing.
-- Joseph, Nevada
Godspeed Senator McCain.
-- Stanley, Maryland
Senator McCain was one of the last great politicians in this country. I will remember him as a principled man who stuck to his guns and argued for what he thought was right, regardless of who was on the opposite side of the issue or his party’s position. I doubt that we will be fortunate enough to see any politician like him again. I am grateful to him for his service to our country and to his adherence to his principles. I send my love and respect to his family and hope they will know how much the American people will miss him.
-- David, New Jersey
In 2009, I was working as a physician in Phoenix and went to a meeting where John McCain was the guest speaker. After the speech, I was talking with some colleagues, turned around, and there was the Senator. I certainly did not expect that he would come out afterwards to talk with any of us. He shook my hand and thanked me for being a physician in the state. I stammered something about him always being an inspiration to me (I still have a copy of "Character is Destiny") that I am sure made little sense. Still - the fact that this important man would just come out and talk to local constituents like that always stuck with me. If the political winds had different timings, he would have been a superb President - but regardless he was a superb Senator and human being.
-- Marc, Colorado
My deepest sympathy to the family of John McCain on their great loss.
-- Barry, New Mexico
His 2008 concession speech showed the Great man he was. Rest well John. Clyde McDonald
-- Clyde, Washington, D.C.
I will never forget when God put it on my heart to support Senator McCain's campaign. The more I learned about Senator McCain, the more I respected him and appreciated all that he had done for this country. Even the man he was personally impressed me. I gathered signatures in VA to insure his name appeared on the primary ballot. I was privileged to see him in the rotunda of the US Capitol building after fighting all night on the Senate floor. After that, he slept all day on the couch in his office. There were so many things he did publicly that made a difference in this nation, but there was so much more that most people don't even know. Senator McCain was a blessing to the US, and I pray that God comforts his family with memories of all of his wonderful contributions and his model life.
-- Markita, Virginia
Senator John McCain: You have help me a number of times I am in your debt Sir. There are no words to say how much you will be missed sir.The United States has lost a great man and he will be missed. My prayers are with the family and may the father in heaven let you in sir when you arrive at the gates of heaven.God bless you sir as a veteran my self sir I have a heavy heart we have lost a brother in arms. may your soul rest in peace. Almighty father please take special care of this soul in Jesus name amen.
-- Antonio, Texas
Thank you Senator McCain for your service to our great state and country. I wish there were more statesmen like you who would put country first and resolve our problems this country faces - regardless of partisan ideology. Rest in peace, sir!
-- Kathy, 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
Although my Polítical Ideologies were diferent I always admired the History and nobility that Transpired from Sen. McCain. Someone who clearly had the love for his Country and Fellow Citizens needed by any Leader. His Force and his legacy are inspirational to any one in the World! I'll look up for his legacy for years to come. America lost his Last True Hero. May God guards His Soul in Peace.
-- Gonçalo, Portugal
God Bless You ! Never see a man like him again !
-- Renee, New Jersey
My family and I had the honor of meeting Senator McCain at a craniofacial conference on Capital Hill in 1999. He was so kind and spoke with each family individually. A few years later and after exhausting all hope with a very crooked insurance company , I turned to the Senator for guidance on how to get my daughter’s medical procedure covered. He, in turn, contacted our insurance company and had the final appeal overturned and approved. He did not have to help us but he did. A man of integrity and character. We will always be grateful. Forever in our hearts. Well done good and faithful servant??
-- Kim, Texas
Senator McCain was a true American Hero. His service to our country including the fact he could have been released from Vietnam during his capture but said no, he would not leave his fellow soldiers behind, is a show of true loyalty and courage which cannot be matched. Thank you Senator for your service during the war and thank you for your public service thereafter in Congress. America was blessed to have you.
-- John, Pennsylvania
Had the honor of meeting John McCain on two occasions in NY. I remember him telling how proud he was about his son enlisting in the USMC. I am proud of you JOHN, please Rest In Peace. Thank you for the good example you have demonstrated for Vietnam Veterans like myself. God bless you and your family. Donald J. Steinert USMC, proud Vietnam Veteran PS. I started reading Restless Wave last week.
-- Donald, New York
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 will remember John as a man that went threw enemy torture. A Veteran that stood up to help us Veterans while in the Senate.
-- Rory, Wisconsin
We need more people like him in government. We need people to work togeather across party lines It is more important to do what is right for the country then what one party or the other wants to do and John knew this. He will be missed and the country will need to find more like him.
-- John, Pennsylvania
My salute to a great career and a man of wonderful inner strength who served his county with honor and courage. May he rest in peace and be embraced by the arms of Jesus Christ.
-- Nicholas, Pennsylvania
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 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
A true American hero. May God rest his soul
-- Neal, Connecticut
Thank you for your faithful and loyal service to the Constitution, to our country, and to the world. You will always be remembered with gratefulness. You are in the Hands of the Greatest Love now. Prayers to the McCain family.
-- Lisa, Connecticut
I can't think of any person who has given more to our country than Senator McCain. Even in his death, he is showing us how to bring people together. God bless the McCain family.
-- Patty, Massachusetts
I think of John McCain as a comrade who served this great Nation with love of service to country, family, self, and humanity. God Bless his Spirit and God Bless America.
-- Paul, California
Thank you sir for every thing you did for this great country you will be missed god bless .
-- mike, Washington
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
Honorably served and will be missed!!
-- Beverly, Arizona
Dear Cindy I am so deeply sympathy your husband he is good men We'll best to your family. Love you Anthony Canale
-- Anthony, New York
Thank you for your sacrifice and service. You endured more than we could ever know. I appreciated your honesty and truth....even though I may not have always agreed. I supported and voted for you in 2008 because of you love of country and honesty. Rest in peace sir! Prayers for the entire McCain family as you grieve the loss of this great man. May God and Americans wrap you in hugs and prayers. May God Bless America!
-- Chris, Ohio
Mi mas sincera condolencia a la familia y a todos sus seres queridos, se ha perdido una grande persona y un ser humano extraordinario para la historia de EEUU . estara en mi memoria y en la de todos los americanos. un ciudadano español. gracias por poder expresar mis sentimientos.
-- jose javier, Spain
He inspired me to get re engaged with my country I called for days in support for campaign finance reform I hope his passing inspires people to come together I’ll never forget him Thank You Gary DeRogatis
-- Gary, New Jersey
Senator John McCain was one of my heroes. His ability to see both sides and to do what he felt was in the best interested attracted me to him from the beginning. I share the sorrow of the nation and his family as we mourn the death of this true statesman. May Light Perpetual Shine on him.
-- Susan, Mississippi
Senator John McCain and his respect for the process always stood out to me. Although, I supported Barack Obama in 2008, He has always shown an excellent display of good characteristics and always stood for what he believed in regardless of being politically correct. His dedication to public service and to country is what I will always remember about him. The people of Arizona were lucky to have him as a Senator, I will miss him, I intend on reading his book and watching his past interviews. Senator McCain, I again, thank you for your service.
-- Nicholas, New Jersey
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
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
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
I worked on his campaign as a grad student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I loved his laugh! Even if he was not pleased, when he laughed it made everything okay. My heart is with Senator McCain's family at this time of their loss. May he Rest in Peace.
-- Lara, Washington, D.C.
Senator McCain joins a long legacy of Arizona statesmen that have all made a difference in Washington D.C.: Senators Henry Fountain Ashurst, Carl T. Hayden, Ernest W. McFarland, Barry Goldwater, Dennis W. DeConcini, Jon Kyl. U.S House of Representatives: John Rhodes, Stewart Udall, Mo Udall, Bob Stump, Matt Salmon, John Shadegg. However, Senator John McCain, in our troubled times, stands as a warrior, an inspiration, a patriot and a good friend,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Barry M. Goldwater Jr Member of Congress, retired
-- Barry, Arizona
A true American hero and a representative to all citizens! Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCain family.
-- Cristi, Kentucky
Thank you for your service. You are a true American hero
-- Nancy, Virginia
Many thanks John. All the best to the family.
-- Craig, Florida
Our condolences to the McCain Family in their time of grief. May God hold you in his arms and wipe away your tears and hold you and be with you at this time.
-- Violet, Indiana
We were Naval Academy classmates. He was my naval and American hero.
-- Thomas, Hawaii
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
I'm from Indiana he was a great person he will be missed I remember when he ran for president and wondered why he had arm problems then I found out he was a war vet
-- Rev. Joshua, Indiana
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