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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 worked John McCain’s campaign in New Hampshire and was privileged to meet him several times... the last time we spoke was at Harris Teeter in Arlington VA. He shopped in the store across from our apartment. I reintroduced myself and we chatted about the F-35 Program and when were done he shook my hand and thanked me for my service... after all he did and was doing... what a guy!!!?

-- Kent, 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

May the grace of God be with the McCain family as John go home to be with Jesus.Thank you for a job well done!

-- Marsha, Georgia

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

A man who seemed to care. A man with a sense of humor. He had my vote as a person I could ask to be my representative.

-- Scott, Virginia

I never had the chance to meet senator McCain, but he was a patriot and a hero who served this great country passionately both in our military and in congress. he is truly an inspiration to many and respected and loved by all. my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his wife cindy, daughter meghan and the rest of his family and friends at this difficult time.

-- charlie, New York

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

RIP, Senator McCain. Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. May you find peace in the memories you share.

-- Diane, Florida

John, May you Rest In Peace in heaven with God! You lived a life that shows the world what American is about! May God bless your family!

-- Jack, California

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

-- Mike, Washington

I remember spending time in Michigan traveling and attending events as we campaigned for his Presidency in Michigan. I found him to be very heartfelt when we spoke one on one. I shall remember him with rsspect forever. Senator McCain has been missed by numerous individuals.

-- Judy Todd, Michigan

I never met John. I’m a Democrat and have much respect for his military and US senate service. We have lost a great hero and public servant and are poorer for it. There will never be another like him. My heartfelt sympathies to you his family and you are in my thoughts. Mary , Oklahoma

-- Mary, Oklahoma

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

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

Senator McCain was a true example of a leader! One that works with even those across the aisle. We need more of these now!

-- Michael, Arkansas

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

My family and I first heard about Senator John McCain running for the 2008 Presidential elections. Were were visiting Minneapolis/St. Paul 10 years ago to attend the State Fair and had no idea the Republican National Convention was being held the same time we were there. We have heard Senator McCain speak on television during this convention and noted his admiration for his country and his devotion to his family. Even though we are from Canada, we took note of how Senator McCain spoke eloquently and how humble he was, even after his election loss. To the people of Arizona and to the McCain Family we offer our heartfelt condolences. God Bless you all.

-- Andrew, Canada

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's courage inspired me to face my own cancer diagnosis.

-- Kathryn, Washington

Mr. McCain, you are a respected American hero. R.I.P.

-- Jane, California

You will be missed. Thank you for your leadership

-- Tom, Wisconsin

Thank you, John McCain, for your years of service to our country. You will sincerely be missed. Deepest condolences to your family.

-- Sarah, Colorado

A remarkable patriot. Will miss his common sense. Prayers to the family.

-- Diane, Arizona

Senator McCain was a great man, and a hero. He will be so missed but always remembered. Rest In Peace, John.

-- Frederick, Maryland

What human being today would turn down a rescue from horrific conditions if his fellow brethren weren’t released? NONE. THIS GENTLEMAN IS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER

-- Helen, Florida

He was a man of true honor and courage. His unique style and humor will be missed in this world.

-- Mike, California

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

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

I was very saddened to hear of Mr. McCain's passing. I was (and still am) an admirer of the man. I wish he had run for president. He was one of the few true patriots in this country. He will be sorely missed.

-- Teresa, Nebraska

Thank you for your service to our Country. God Bless you.

-- David, Virginia

Proud to have served with John, not only in the Navy, but in the cells of North Vietnam prisons. We traveled together all the way from the jet training squadron (John an instructor - I a student) in Meridian, MS, through our time in prison and eventually time together in the Pentagon. An adventuresome life, but as we both agree, a life of unbelievable blessings. Fair winds my friend and my God Bless you and God Bless America.

-- Capt. William (Bill), Washington


-- TOBY, Alabama

You will be missed. Continue to watch over us. Thank you for your service Our American Hero. RIP

-- paula, New York

A great man! Thanks so much for your selfless service to our country. You will truly be missed.

-- Linda, Florida

Sen. John McCain taught us what honor, true patriotism and basic human decency look like. He will be missed.

-- Max, Pennsylvania


-- joeann, Kentucky

When Senator McCain came to the great state of New Hampshire he was very congenial and very supportive of all of our military. My husband, a retired US Marine, serve 22 years on active duty. We have a great respect, love and admiration for our dear Senator McCain

-- Jody, New Hampshire

God Bless You John, Thank You for Serving Our Country..

-- William, New York

Class act. He was the Maverick. Kennedy the Lion. They will once again be a formidable team.

-- Sabrina, Missouri

Citizen – hero – patriot

-- Citizen – hero – patriot, New Jersey

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

I’m a simple person with a simple life but John touched my life in many ways. I am truly sad to have a survivor like John pass and wish his family , friends and well wishers my condolences. He percervied during his extraordinary life of trials and public service. While not everyone would agree with the path and conviction that his life took him, he stayed true to it. That alone sets him apart from the masses. God bless him and his family as they walk this new path. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, even though I don’t know any of you.

-- Theresa, New York

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

I met the character of John McCain within the pages of his book, Faith of My Fathers, well-matched with his conduct as a man. It describes the ground of his action and the enduring worth of his cherished commitments. Whatever shortcomings each person exercises in life or fame which endures, it is the reason for it that all makes sense. Their works do follow them. Rest in Peace.

-- Herbert, California

I lost my big role model!

-- Chris, Germany

I met Senator McCain when he was on the campaign trail in NH. I attended his town hall meeting in Wolfeboro, NH. I asked him if he would wear my son’s memorial bracelet. I know he has worn it since that day. This country has lost a true hero and patriot. I am proud to call him a friend! He will be sadly missed.

-- Lynn, Kentucky

I extend my most Sincere Sympathy to Senator McCain's family and friends from the Deep South of Louisiana. As a Brother Vietnam Army Veteran, John made sure that our military was ready to defend America. His time in the country of Vietnam and his sacrifices there cannot be measured, but by God alone. We all have a lot to learn from his courage and wisdom. He was also a great friend and supporter of Firefighters and 1st Responders everywhere. He truly left our Country a better place. Godspeed my Brother!!!

-- Chief Michael, Louisiana

To all of the Senator John McCain's family and friends-Sorry for your loss. To me he was always a great man! I am a Navy Veteran also and have always saluted him for his service! I supported the Senator's run for President and he would have made a outstanding Commander in Chief! His leadership through his life story has always been uplifting to me! He clearly went through heck and back as a POW and most of us could not understand what it's like to endured what he did and survived. John McCain you were a Great Man and will be dearly missed!

-- Bruce, Washington

Sen. McCain was at our store Morse Sporting Goods in Hillsboro. NH and gave a speech during his campaign. We have a nice picture of him on display at our store.

-- Walter, New Hampshire

John McCain Was a great man. His family can rest also because he is resting in piece. now. Again John was a great man. Thanks for every thing.

-- Raymond, Rhode Island

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.