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
To a dedicated military and statesman I say a job well done and need more like you to follow. You could never be replaced with your prisoner of war and political records you have done this wonderful country a great deed. Gods blessings.
-- John, 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
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
God Bless him.
-- Andrew, California
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
John McCain was a Wonderful Statesman for our country. My husband Barry Starr always had the greatest respect for him. His heart was always in the right place, he was professional, courageous and we are lucky to have had him representing us through the many years. I wish Peace and Wonderful Memories for his family, loved ones and friends.
-- Gayle, Arizona
He was a brave and valuable man, thanks for all your done and sacrifices.
-- barbara, North Carolina
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
To an American hero. Thank you for your service to our country. And to your love and devotion you had for it. A life lived truly well. Rest in peace knowing you left a footprint that will endure.
-- Barbara, Illinois
God Bless John McCain. He was a true American Patriot and served our country extremely well. May he rest in eternal peace in The House of The Lord.
-- Stephen, New Jersey
I ran into John several times in the early AM hours at Sky Harbor Airport. He was always quick with a smile to match my own. A great American. A great man. May his memory be blessed.
-- Jeff, Arizona
John McCain: An outstanding man and the best example of what a true American in politics should be, there are few that have the ability today to work with "let's work together" attitude but he was open for that. He has inspired both sides of the isle. he inspired me. Senator McCain stood firm when he refused to leave his men in Vietnam. He will always be known as a great American hero. I am saddened he is gone but feel he served his country well, showed self respect in the way he lived his personal life and political life. He is a man that God will take into eternity. Senator McCain is probably one of the few men that will be talked about in decades and years to come. God bless his sweet family.
-- Carol, Tennessee
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
You will be missed Senator John McCain ! I'll Be praying for the family !
-- Carolyn, Kentucky
The American polity is populated by many great people – that is, to say, individuals of power and influence. There are also good people – individuals of principle, honor and purpose who elevate and inspire us by their example. But rare are the souls in the nation’s public life who are truly both great and good. One of the few has now passed from our midst. He will be missed. John was well-known for being hard-nosed in his causes, but he was equally tender hearted. Accompanying his boxer’s toughness and resolve, was a poet’s sensibilities. He was the most formidable adversary and the best of allies. For his colleagues on the public stage he was often both. For John it was never personal or partisan or about the politics. The objective was always duty, the public interest, and what was right as he saw it. On that you could depend.
It’s no secret that John McCain’s hero was Theodore Roosevelt. And certainly no one personified TR’s “the man in the arena” more than John. Like Roosevelt’s ideal, he strived valiantly. He erred and came up short from time to time. He knew great enthusiasms and great devotions. Above all, he spent every ounce of his life and spirit on worthy causes. Three will stand out in our hearts and, hopefully, in the nation’s consciousness for generations to come: for every person to treasure freedom, to love the country and one another, and to serve causes greater than self-interest. As we lower our flags to honor a fallen patriot, may we lift our hearts in gratitude and with a renewed commitment to do and be better. Thank you, John. Fair winds and following seas!
-- John, Virginia
He was a Hero, a Congressman, a leader and above all he loved our country.
-- Pedro J, Florida
My greatest memory is working on his campaign for President. I was a volunteer on the ground floor of HQ in Crystal City. The room suddenly filled with volunteers. We were told John & Cindy were on their way. They arrived to a packed room with news cameras following. I was standing off to the side. The news wanted a photo with a volunteer after he spoke to us. He looked over at me and drew me into the picture. What a day! Sympathies to family and friends!
-- Sally, Virginia
Thank you, Senator McCain.
-- Wendy, Arizona
Great, great man!! He had steel backbone and and was a model of principled leadership. Service to God and country before self. He was from the fabric all leaders should aspire to be made of.
-- MATTHEW, Virginia
Iconic example of "A good man"
-- Leo, New Zealand
God Speed Senator John McCain. You are a great American and public servant. Thanks for all you have done for America and the world. YN1 Pamela C Ranberg, USN (Retired)
-- Pamela, Maryland
It was such an honor working on the 2008 campaign. If anyone deserved to be the President of this country, Senator John McCain was the one. Spent his entire life serving this country, what a loss to all Americans.
-- Candace, California
I am saddened to hear of Sen McCain's passing. He was truly one of the Last Lions in Politics. We will miss him greatly. Soar with The Eagles, Senator!
-- Leslie, Canada
I've got very much respect for John McCain. Have peace.
-- Ruurd, Netherlands
Thank you to John McCain & his family for service & sacrifice to this country. My deepest condolences to the family.
-- Brigitte, Florida
I just like him, without reservation, one of a kind human being who brings up high the core value we all shall fight to keep.
-- Helen, Canada
Many of our nations problems would be solved if everyone in Washington had the integrity of Senator John McCain. - Not a Republican.
-- Brad, Maine
Senator John McCain represented the values and character that strengthened the very foundation of our democracy. Judy and I , are joined by are entire family in sending our sympathy and love. I willl never forget campaigning with the Senatorhis unswerving path of love for America,enduring optimism,and unfailing,though occasionally biting humor. How blessed to have known him and have him put “my friend” befor my name.
-- Lew and Judy, Florida
A true American hero and a representative to all citizens! Our thoughts and prayers are with the McCain family.
-- Cristi, Kentucky
Couple years ago I was at the Phoenix airport with my young son and son in law. I was sending off my son in law to another tour in Afghanistan as a highly decorated Special Forces soldier. Senator McCain came over to us and thanked my son in law for his service. They chatted privately for a few minutes and took pictures together. Amazing man. A real friend!
-- Lee, Arizona
Rest In Peace, Senator John!
-- Tran, Vietnam
Rip my prayers goes out to your family and thank you for your services and standing up for us
-- Lynn, New Hampshire
Our country and the whole world have lost an awesome compassionate man. He was wise most of the desicion he took while voting on any bill it was always what is good for the USA and not what was good for the country. Senators like him are very few. God has gained a loving car in Angel. Rest in peace maverick.
-- Elie, Arizona
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
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
Although I didn't have personal stories to tell -- I just would like to say that I am so sorry for your loss -- it is mine, my family and all of the people who are close to me share. He was a great man -- one, no matter what political party you are from, has taught us, inspired us. We are devastated and will miss him so much. So sincerely yours.
-- Mary, New York
Thank you for your integrity, your service, and your boldness. You made us a better nation. Finally, thank you for being part of our American family. Your life made a difference to our Republic.
-- Ricardo, California
Proud to be from the State of Arizona where John McCain was my representative in the Senate. A true war hero, a great leader and a servant of our country. God Bless his family.
-- Dana, Arizona
John McCain, had he been elected President of the United States, would have not only been a very great president, he would have been able to unite the country, in spite of a hostel main stream media. There was something truly unique in John’s ability to bring any group into dialogue which ultimately benefited the whole. I’m very sad we’ve lost a leader irreplaceable in the younger generations.
-- Beth (Dorithy Elizabeth), Hawaii
Rest In Peace Senator McCain. You inspired every person to reach higher and to be the best version of themselves, as you were, in service to your country and to mankind. Thank you for your service.
-- Sonia Garcia, Virginia
I will always be grateful for his courage to do the right thing. Thank you John. See you in heaven.
-- Stephen, Washington
Thank you John McCain for your loyal service and the time you spent in in OUR HONOR. Rest in Peace.
-- dana, Florida
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
Senator McCain was a rare individual and a true American hero. He will be greatly missed. It was my honor to work on his Presidential campaign. My sincere condolences to his close friends and family.
-- Becky, Missouri
Dear McCain Family, I had the honor of meeting Senator McCain in Houston, TX. He was a very gracious man. We lost an icon in American politics. He was honorable, honest, and a hero. He was not afraid to speak his mind. He helped people in the United States and around the world. He will be remembered forever. Please accept my deepest condolences.
-- Imtihan, Texas
Man and public servant of great convictions beyond party lines, where only his conscience and the welfare of the American people had space. He fulfilled his mission as he did so many other times, now that The Great Architect of the Universe welcomes him into his kingdom.
-- Francisco, Florida
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 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
John McCain was a diamond in the dust of Washington, D.C. He was a precious gem. Our sympathies to the family of an extraordinary man. Rest in peace, John. Chad and Barbara Zitta
-- Barbara, Pennsylvania
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