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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 did not personally meet Mr. McCain, but my son did when we lived at Dobson Ranch in the early 1980s. John had an office in the ABCO shopping center. One day, my son and his friend were riding bikes behind the stores when they spotted a pallet of soda at the back of McCain's office. Being young boys they started to take some soda, when John came out. Instead of yelling at the boys, he offered them each a soda. My son always remembered that little incident!

-- Joy, 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 have ALWAYS had a deep love and admiration for John McCain. My deepest sympathy and prayers for him and his family.

-- Frank, New York

I never met him, but growing up I knew of his heroism and his life experience will be repeated to those who follow. May he Rest In Peace with God.

-- Charles, Maryland

Thank you, Senator John McCain. I am so grateful for your service to our country. God bless your family in this time of tremendous loss.

-- Dolores, Pennsylvania

People like John McCain are what truly make America great!

-- Kippi, Tennessee

Thank you for your service to our great Country! We honor you and miss you already

-- David, Florida

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

HERO Above Them All. While he might not have agreed with every person, he respected them all. He saw the best in everyone and spoke the truth as he knew it. God Bless John McCain.

-- Lawrence, Virginia

I was so excited when he ran for President; I knew he would put the office and the country first. My husband and I both voted for him, and were very disappointed when he lost the election. He will be remembered, and he will be missed.

-- Miranda, New Jersey

You are a great American Hero and you will never be forgotten!!! Thank you for your courage, values, leadership, and service!!!

-- Mike, Washington

A true American hero and a representative to all citizens! Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCain family.

-- Cristi, Kentucky

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

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

I never had the privilege of meeting Senator McCain though I have long admired his dedicated service to our country through military and public service. Thank you for your service! Country First Godspeed John McCain Were gonna miss ya!

-- Ray, 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

Thank you for all your service,I 'm sure this world will never see someone as remarkable as yourself. R.I.P

-- Jane, Arizona

I remember Senator McCain as a great patriot and a great American which to me is the greatest honor I can bestow on him.

-- Ivan, Washington

Truly respected my 5th cousin. A man of his word, a man of truth, and he shared those truths.

-- Vanessa, California

He loved the same beautiful Arizona that I once loved. He gave generously to CHOC hospital where I once worked. Good memories last.

-- kathy p., Alabama

I’m at a loss for words tonight. Both in the midst of war and in the halls of Washington, Senator McCain's dedication to our country never faltered. In this era of talking heads and 24-hour news cycles, John McCain reminded us that we are not defined by our divisions or our disagreements but by our common bond as Americans. We can never replace him but we can honor him by continuing his mission. Thank you, Senator. hashtag#countryfirst

-- Maya, Washington, D.C.

I voted for John McCain because he was a real life Rambo.

-- JOLEEN, Massachusetts

My heart and prayers go out to McClain family we love you stay strong and remember what he stands for unity and love he will always be our hero

-- Shirley, South Carolina

I have respected John McCain from the time of his captivity. I voted for him for President, and consider him the conscience of the Congress. His kind will not be found again in our nation.

-- Joseph Lee, Florida

Thank You !

-- Alvin, Pennsylvania

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

-- Mary, New York

Had Honor to meet this GREAT man prior to the Ronald Regan Presidents Dinner (D.C), Sen. McCain gave us a Photograph we will cherish, it's my wife with me & Sen. McCain, "Carolyn is the Rose between two thorns" I tell this story too many. This picture will be on display in our AZ vacation home. Our Nation has loss a Hero, & Icon of Freedom. We loved him & Honor his memory. We plan to attend the AZ service about 7 hours from Ca...God bless him & Family.

-- Frank X, California

i am relieved his suffering is over.i did not agree with him always but i did vote for him in 2008. he was a great hero to the u.s. my heart goes out to the family

-- steven, New Hampshire

A brave, honorable man whose character and moral compass is a beacon for us all.

-- Bruce, New York

A true patriot and hero. Few today can understand the courage he had and the service he gave to his country. BRAVO ZULU, John from a fellow USNA grad.

-- Charles, Washington

God bless you sir. Be bless your service you for this nation!

-- Thomas, South Carolina

I am so saddened to learn of Senator McCain's passing. He is the epitome of patriotism, leadership, a true man of substance, character, morality, compassion and love. He served the United States and her people selflessly - always putting the welfare of others first. There is no one like him in that he was an exceptional man and will live forever as an example of what we should all aspire to be. He continues to serve in spirit and legacy as an inspiration and as the gold standard and essence of true American patriotism. This country was made better because of John McCain. If we could all be more like him just think how much better the world would be. Thank you John McCain for sharing yourself with us - we love you and will forever carry you in our hearts. You are forever our hero!

-- Amy, Oklahoma


-- SHARON, Arizona

Thank you John McCain. You deeply impressed me. My heart is with your family. You truly left an impact and hopefully your legacy will make a difference. You gave us hope in Europe.

-- Sabine, Germany

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

-- Hector, Texas

You were a leader and an inspiration to this country and the people who live here. We need more men like you.

-- Edmund, Oregon

Thank you for putting our country first.

-- Boyer, Ohio

The manner in which Senator McCain responded to negative comments from his constituents about his opponent Barak Obama spoke volumes about his citizenship, his character and his personal values. Such an example his legacy has left for those in govenment to follow and emulate. Blessings to his spirit and to his family.

-- Ana, New York

We shall remember Captain John McCain, USN (Ret.) as a magnificent patriot. Bless him and all in his family.

-- Robert, Washington

I sorry for you lose

-- clara, North Carolina

I campaigned for John McCain in two presidential elections, at his offices in Phoenix,making phone calls and addressing mail. also I worked at a Scottsdale campaign head quarters . I so wanted Him to become president. I will always honor his memory. As a Scottsdale resident of over 37 years ...Rest in Peace JOHN MCCAIN

-- Joyce, Arizona

I would like to sincerely thank a great, brave and most admirable American, Senator John McCain for everything, for his worldwide fight and commitment to freedom and democracy, - and for his longtime and decisive support to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

-- Michael, Sweden

Mr senator John McCain one of my heroes deeply condolences

-- Oscar A, Florida

I May be a Democrat, But John McCain may have been a Republican, He Was for All People in this Country. That is what made this man, A Great Human Being. Deepest Sympathy To his Family at this Time. RIP Mr. McCain, and God be with his Family.

-- Robert, Nevada

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family of Senator John McCain. May the comfort of God surround you at this time and in the days ahead. Amen.

-- Edward, Texas

Senator John McCain was a great American patriot and statesman. We need more like him in today’s leadership. We extend our condolences to Mrs. McCain and all of the extended family. He was an inspiration to millions of Americans and a breath of fresh air in an era when vitriolic attacks are the norm. John McCain spoke truth and earned the right to do so by his military service and extraordinary service. He will be missed.

-- John, Kentucky

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 loved this country and I'm proud of how he's served this wonderful united states of america. He will always be remembered. It'll always be an honor to remember a wonderful person. Thank you and may god have mercy on your soul.

-- Thomas, New York


-- JAMES, Arizona

Thank you for standing up for a free press and the First Amendment. And being honest about mistakes you made in life. We all have made some. It's called being human. You will be sorely missed!

-- Kerry, Arizona

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.