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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.

In 2010, my father, an Air Force veteran of the Korean War needed assisted living care. I learned about the aid and attendance benefit offered by the VA. The paperwork to apply was quite difficult. However, once we completed it and submitted it, I contacted Senator McCain to see if he could assist in expediting the processing of my father's application. Senator McCain did, and my father's application was soon thereafter approved. My eternal thanks are with Senator McCain. He did so much for so many, and his service will never be forgotten.

-- Chip, Arizona

God bless John McCain. We will miss you.

-- Jane, Pennsylvania

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

John McCain was a true American hero.He did lot's of great things for USA,and for democracy in the world.His leadership will be great example for young generation.He will be remembered as best leader in America,and in the world.

-- Mensur, North Carolina

Dear All, We are Canadian but have watched with great respect over many, many years how Senator McCain unflinchingly always chose the correct and most positive road for American citizens and America, often disregarding partisan politics. America, and more especially his loved family, have lost a truly great Patriot, husband and father, and person who cared selflessly for the greater good. Not only has America, but the World, has lost a person that we all loved. Our thoughts go out to the McCain family and all Americans who identified with his always most laudable causes. Gob Bless John, his family and America.

-- Norman, Canada

I am unknown to John, but he is highly regarded by me and many people in Australia, a fine person who many could emulate if they wanted to be a fine person. You have been and continue to be an inspiring person to me and many others. RIP Sir.

-- Paul, Australia

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate, you stand relieved, We have the watch. To one of my heros! Who was an exceptional American, hero and leader! -RIP John McCain. Go Navy!

-- Courtney, Minnesota

I only knew Senator McCain from TV. I saw in Him a strong virtuous man. I am not religious, but I wish my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. I doubt He will EVER be forgot. Least of all by me. Love John T.

-- John, Nebraska

The only politician I ever supported with my wallet. John brought honor to policy and politics and leadership by action and example. My best to his family. The United States has lost a giant with. Let his legacy of fierce independence be forever preserved. God bless his soul in the name of Jesus Christ. Oh... and of course, Fly Navy!

-- Sam, California

While a Senator and Presidential Candidate in 2008 we were very lucky to attend a wonderful campaign stop Senator McCain made in Miami, Fl. It was late at night but the mood and crowd was electric. God Bless you Senator and your entire wonderful family!

-- Richard, Florida

I sorry for you lose , I remember when him go to Colombia

-- daniel, North Carolina

Many thanks John. All the best to the family.

-- Craig, Florida

You asked to that when you are gone, how would you like to be remembered? You said "That you lived honorably." Sir, you did. Some will call you hero, father, friend, and Senator. I will call you a Sailor. One of "OUR" Navy's best. I can only offer you a thank you. Fair Winds and Following Seas.

-- Naeem, Ohio

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

Thank you Senator John McCain for your support of the military.

-- Msg David, Texas

Thank you sir, for your service to our country. We honor and appreciate your sacrifices. Condolences to your Family and Friends.

-- Jean & David, California

My family will miss seeing John at the Dback games...

-- ralph, Arizona

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'm deeply saddened to hear of Senator McCain's passing. I knew he was gravely ill, but was still shocked to hear of his passing. I can't believe I actually started crying upon the news. I didn't always agree on the politics, but still held him in esteem for his service to this country. My condolences to all of his family and close friends.

-- Teresa, Arizona

Senator Mccain was a true hero and statesman. He will be missed by American citizens. I"m so sorry for your loss.

-- diane, Florida

We enjoyed his humor in Politics

-- Gary, Texas

He would have been the Best President ever!! Also a President for everyone, not just his party. Hopefully his life will influence the rest of the USA. He was truly a great & honest person!!

-- Shirley, California

Sir, It has been a pleasure to endure your tenacity as you elevated your voice on the Senate floor. As a Veteran I know for certain that you were a leader! Leaders lead, others follow!! I salute you...AIRBORNE! RIP

-- Elgin, Maryland

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

People like John McCain are what truly make America great!

-- Kippi, Tennessee

To the McCain Family, I, will forever remember Senator John McCain, as a man with the highest degree of integrity and honesty. His legacy, and his principles will live on and inspire many. Senator John McCain, displayed amazing truth and honesty to the very end. He was able to disinvite the heartless, rude and crude President of the United States of America, to his own Funeral Service. I support and take comfort in John McCain's decision. Today, we will salute, Senator John McCain. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

-- Alfrieda, Wisconsin

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

I first would like to say how sorry I am for his devoted family... my prayers will be with you during such a difficult time ... may your memories comfort you.. I was at a parade in Florence, SC my son’s high school JrROTC did the Color Guard for the parade .. I was proudly watching my son and all the sudden there was Mr McCain in the parade... he was running for president at that time ... I said Oh my there is John McCain and he looked heard me and looked over and waved ... meant a lot that he would take his busy time to visit a small town parade and participate... he touched us all in many ways ...he was a brave blessing to our country! Rest In Peace to this tireless soldier !! Peace to his family!!!

-- Susan, Georgia

He is a man with dignity and respect. He’s great father, brother, and human person... btw am Arizona resident n I’ll miss him. ??????

-- Maanka, Arizona

thank you

-- michael, Georgia

Our family has been saddened by this loss, John McCain was a light of hope in a dark time politically. We laughed at his self defacing jokes, his delightful honesty. Most of all, we felt protected from corruption. He was not afraid to speak his mind when others were cowards or motivated purely by the polls. In short, he had guts and conviction of his beliefs. The rest of the party seems to have lost their moral compass. As he goes with our Lord, I am sure he will be welcome. We'll miss you, love and encouragement from our family to his on this day.

-- Renee, Oregon

I never knew Senator McCain personally, though have been in his company at various political events in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. over the years. But all my adult life I have tried to emulate Senator McCain's love of country, concern for his fellow man, putting country over political party, taking your work but not yourself seriously, and having a little fun along the way. To this day I can visualize his captivity, feel his struggle and pain as a prisoner of war, and marvel at his remarkable positive spirit-despite all odds. But what he has left and given will never be forgotten. In fact, his legacy will hopefully give all citizens hope and faith for a better world. Made that way by Senator John McCain. To his family, my deepest sympathy. He will live on in generations of hopeful, defiant Americans.

-- Dava, Maryland

The last American hero. Honest, Brave, and Caring. He returned with Honor, and left with Honor.

-- Gregory, Michigan

Vietnam was our meeting place a long time ago. I remember when he walked out of the jungle. God bless you and keep you. I shall miss you greatly. Jerry Simpson

-- Gerry, Maryland

I was one of the special forces that went in to get my brothers,we did not make it.It seames they new we were coming we lost many of our brothers that day John I do it again because of our fath for one another. REST IN PEACE. REST IN PEACE

-- WARREN, Arizona

Rest in peace, Senator McCain. Your legacy lives on. Democrat or Republican, we appreciate you. You are our hero. My deepest condolences to the family.

-- Danielle, Florida

Thank you Senator McCain for raising the bar and being a great leader to us. You will be missed dearly.

-- Raymond, Arizona

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Sen McCain was one of those rare individuals who possessed both courage and honor. Rare qualities on their own but even more extraordinary when combined. All of our lives have been enriched by his service. My father was seriously hurt in Korea. losing his right leg, right hand and the sight in both eyes. But he married a beautiful woman, raised four children and ran his own business for 20 years. I always looked up to and was inspired by my father for overcoming his disabilities. I looked up to Sen McCain in the same way.I Have been a life long democrat, but if I lived in Arizona I would have returned John McCain to the Senate over and over again. John McCain was a true American Hero. Thank you for your service doesn't begin to express the gratitude he deserves.

-- Timothy, New York

Our country's real hero!

-- Kenneth, Virginia

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 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

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

Thank you for your service to our country! Speaking up on issues when it was not so popular! You arrived in Heaven and God said well done my son! Prayers to the family during this most difficult time.

-- Rosalind, Georgia

During his internment as a POW I proudly wore my copper Bracelet & prayed for John McCain. I still have my cherished bracelet and a Thank You letter sent to me in response to a "Welcome Home" message I wrote to him when he returned to the USA. I admired this brave man as did so many others. Aloha to Senator John McCain's Family .

-- Shirlee, Hawaii


-- joeann, Kentucky

I have always admired John McCain’s love of our country and his commitment to service. His courage in dealing with brain cancer was yet one more example of his admirable approach to life. He will be missed by all.

-- Wendy, New Jersey

God Bless him.

-- Andrew, California

Honorably served and will be missed!!

-- Beverly, Arizona

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

Hello, I am writing from the UK and wish to offer sincere condolences to Senator McCain's family, friends,and supporters.Though politically at odds I have always been inspired by his truest of all courage,integrity and dignity and sharp political intellect. From across the pond it has sometimes been difficult as an outside observer,Senator McCain always seemed a beacon of principal and incredible courage.Many people across the world know what a great American hero he was,in my humble opinion maybe one of the best Presidents you never had. Again sincere condolences,I am saddened today. P.

-- Paul, United Kingdom

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.