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.
To the family of our Senator McCain : Thank you for share with us a Great Human Being. Rest in Peace Beloved Senator.
-- Ana, New York
I met the senator once in New jersey during a campaign event during his presidential bid. I had his photograph in my office since that day. John represented what is best about this nation. We shared a few things; we were both born in Panama ,both loved flying and we fought for Israel and the USA. He was a brave, honest and kind human being. I am priviliged to have know him. This country would have been much different if John had become president. Rest in peace
-- Dr. Ruben, New Jersey
God bless you and your family. Truly a light in a time of darkness. Thank you for being an example of the greatest human qualities. Rest in peace.
-- Karen, California
A courageous, and humble person who really loved his nation and state.
-- Jose, Arizona
I worked on the last mccain campaign and I will never forget how much he respected his opponents. He was a class act and spoke well of all- even those who did not return the respect. Thank you Senator for teaching us was kindness and virtue looked like.
-- D, Arizona
I saw John McCain, during the time he was a POW, he protected other POW from being tortured. He told me that a Vietnam, soldier came to his cell and ask him if it is true that US Carriers have a swimming pool? To prevent any harm or torture to the prisoner that said this, he answered; " Yes; some have 2 pools".
-- Alfredo, Florida
My dear maverick will truly miss you is going to be difficult without writing letters to you an email I will never forget the graciousness your wife displaying at the parties of Fourth of July in 2000 and 2001 will be parties that I truly will treasure now you are with your heroes Barry Goldwater, William T Garland, mote Mo Udall and other great Arizonans including the classy Gov. Rose Mulford your example of not putting anybody down will be a countless example in US history illustrated talk express one of the best memories of my young adult life as I stated in your last letter that that hope you had a chance to see I said that the maverick force be with you Megan Cindy and the rest of him became family I mourn your loss your loss is my loss as well!!
-- Ted, Arizona
Rest easy my brother.
-- Robert and Juanita, New York
My Naturalized French-American wife and I attended the first Congressional Dinner in Washington D.C. given for President Bush after his election. Even though John McCain had lost the nomination to President Bush, he was there that night to honor the president. He was standing alone and my wife discovered him and had the most delightful conversation with him about the presidency. He did not try to shorten the visit with her, nor fail to understand every word she spoke with him. He was most gracious and at the end had her pose for a picture with him. This did more for my wife then all the citizenship course on America could ever have done. Thank you John for this. All the angels in heaven will note this when you arrive there!
-- Rob (for Honey), Arizona
His military sacrifice in the line of duty..
-- Bob, New York
I was on the wrestling squad at Episcopal High School with John McCain, and I supported him financially and with a vote in both of his races for President. He was a bona fide American hero whom I admired greatly.
-- Robert, Virginia
Remembering a very, very good man. What a great example John McCain left for us to follow. Farewell brave hero. Sleep well.
-- Audrey, New Jersey
Heartfelt sympathies to the entire McCain family. A true Maverick willing to help others even those he never met. Thank you for your service, celebration and humility.
-- Kathleen, Florida
May all of the U.S. will be comforted by memories of this true statesman. Sen. McCain was a hero and will be missed dearly.
-- Deborah, Washington, D.C.
While serving with Pilots in the USAF in 1969, we followed this hero in the Hanoi prison as well as the other prisoners. I had the honor to meet him last year and tell him. I also told him that in 2004 I helped him during a debate at Saddleback Church in Orange County where he and Mr. Obama were interviewed by Pastor Rick Warren. Last year he thanked me. I thank John McCain!
-- Bill, Arizona
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
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
Well done good and faithful servant....
-- Susan, Texas
One of America’s true heroe’s . He will be truly missed by everyone. May God bless his family & give them comfort with beautiful memories.
-- Pam, Florida
RIP Senator McCain. May God be with his family and many friends and colleagues during this difficult time.
-- Roxanne, Michigan
I voted for him for President. I guess I was always going to , but after Sarah Palin said "he is the only candidate running who has ever truly fought for you" it sealed the deal. Sincerest condolences to your family ...losing a husband and a father is one of life's biggest body blows...so sorry for your loss.
-- Ginny, New York
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
As I sit and listen to the life of Senator John McCain, I knew about his time as captured solider, his friendship with Senator Edward Kennedy. So much can be said about his work as Senator to our nation.I respected him because he put country before party. He ran for President twice and both the men that he ran against both President's Bush and Obama will speak at his funeral service. So to honor his life we all should try to bring back kindness in our lives. To speak the truth, own to our errors and poor judgement. Stop with calling the truth lies, to stop name calling,to respect the press. Not saying this is fake etc. Will everything be perfect in our country no. But take this time to reflect on TRUE patriots of America. That was Senator John McCain. My prayers to his family and Friends
-- tracey, Pennsylvania
Our loss is immeasurable on Senator McCain's passing. He will be missed beyond bounds, but he will rightly become part of the best part of the history of America's "experiment." He cared more for the country and people around the world then he did for himself. His courageous contributions to our world are seen in the outpouring of words of sympathy from people from every part of the world. It may sound insufficient, but is meant with utmost sincerity: Thank you, Senator McCain, for your life of service. You are greatly loved.
-- Ray, Illinois
I had the pleasure of attending a rally at Sun City, SC when this fine man ran for president of our country.Please remember the good times and ignore those who do not know better.
-- Elsa, South Carolina
Supported John in both his runs for the Presidency and almost volunteered to go to South Carolina to work in the campaign in 2008. Wish I had so I may have got a chance to meet him and thank him for his service to this country
-- Andy, North Carolina
The very definition of HERO. Thank you for giving yourself to us.
-- Betty, Illinois
Thank you for your service John.
-- j, Minnesota
John McCain, we need you more than ever now. If only others could exemplify your courage, honesty, wisdom, grace and vigor. Perhaps now, some will realize your contributions to this country, and how very important it is to put country over party. Thank you, Senator McCain. You will not be forgotten.
-- Sharon, California
He was simply, my hero...
-- Dianne, Michigan
Country before party, allies before foes, liberty before despots. Living currently in Europe I was asleep when the news of the untimely death of John McCain came. A friend from DC who knew the Senator well woke me up. My reaction was very simple: I cried and I am not ashamed of it. RIP.
-- Giles, Switzerland
I am a democrat in Tucson, AZ. I have great respect for this man. He worked across the aisle for the good of ALL Americans and the whole world. There will never be anyone like him. I bet Aretha Franklin is ushering him into heaven with her songs!!! Well done, good and faithful servant!
-- Kathleen, Arizona
May He Rest In Peace!
-- Bobby, South Carolina
I feel grateful for service and his love of family and his country
-- Betty, Oregon
"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
You will be so missed. The country loved you. Rest in peace.
-- Connie, Arizona
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
Senator McCain has been a role model in American and international politics. Not only his ability to speak out on controversial issues will be missed, also here in Europe. He will always be remembered for his graceful concession speech, praising Barack Obama in 2008 - what a great man. R.I.P
-- Christopher M., Germany
Thank you John, we all aspire to be more like you!
-- Rafael, Florida
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
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
John McCain was an American hero and showed us how we should treat everyone with respect.
-- John, New York
My husband, John and I voted for Senator McCain in his last race for the presidency! We believed strongly in his values, as they were ours. He upheld the strength and importance of our military. He was my sister's age, if she were alive today. My husband, John, is just 8 years his junior and served in the Army National Guard, but he could have been called up for Vietnam in a heart beat. He served at home with collage riots and the burning of Baltimore during the late 60's. I am 12 years his junior. During the Vietnam War, many suffered and died...yet many survived... John McCain was the ultimate survivor then went on to serve our USA admirably for many years...right up until he succumbed to brain cancer . May God bless his soul! Bless his family with Your Strength and Comfort, Lord!
-- Deborah, South Carolina
My husband Richard (USMC Viet Nam 1967) and I express our appreciation for Senator McCain's service, of all kinds. And sorrow to his family as he will be deeply missed. May God bless you, each one, and grant you comfort and deeper faith in Christ alone.
-- Kathryn, Arizona
Thank you for your service. You are a true American hero
-- Nancy, Virginia
July 4th, 2017, Senator John McCain and a few of his colleagues came to Kabul, Afghanistan to visit with American Service personnel serving far away from home. He could have been anywhere, but he was there with us, and of course made special time for the Navy Sailors stationed there. He pinned the rank of LTCOL on a friend and promoted several others as well. We were far away from home, but having Senator McCain there with us made everything better. Because he was there, we felt at home and a hope he did too.
-- CDR Jim, Virginia
A great american - thank you for your friendship to Germany - we will not forget. R.I.P.
-- Thomas, Germany
Thank you for your years of dedication to the United States, your commitment to uphold the Constitution and contributions for human rights. You will be missed. God Speed Senator.
-- Tedi, Texas
Senator John McCain was a true American hero. He will live on forever in our hearts and be greatly missed.
-- Ashlee, Kentucky
I served in Vietnam. Your legacy will inspire the young men and women thinking about entering the military and flying aircraft. Your unselfish position, and willing to sacrifice your life on behalf of the soldiers on the ground is appreciated. Your gallantry in action saved many lives, like myself. Mr. McCain, know that we will always love you, respect you and pray for you and your beautiful family!
-- Carlos, Texas
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