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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.

Senator McCain has showed the world what real leadership means - deliberate, thoughtful, and principled - regardless of personal difficulties. We are all richer for his example of true citizenship, and for his lifetime of service.

-- Brenda, Canada

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

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

Thank you, Senator McCain.

-- Wendy, Arizona

This is the only government official whom has ever earned my respect... we truly lost so much with his experiences. He was , is my hero.

-- Thomas, Colorado

RIP Senator McCain. May God be with his family and many friends and colleagues during this difficult time.

-- Roxanne, Michigan

Senator McCain, with Don Imus, was completely responsible for increasing the life insurance of fallen soldiers. He truely cared about those in the military and was a voice for their welfare. God Bless Senator McCain and thank you for all you have done for the USA.

-- Anne, Michigan

We fly our flag at half staff on our porch in his Honor. As a man of honor, a War Hero and a patriot, he treated people with dignity which is sorely missing these days. Senator McCain will Always be remembered. What a Contrast from Mr. Trump who will NEVER be Remembered. We love you and will miss you forever. Senator McCain was a HERO. Bless the McCain family.

-- sheldon, New York

I was honored to shake Senator McCain's hand when I worked at Raytheon. He smiled a big smile at me, and held out his hand. I will never forget that moment.

-- Helen, Arizona

In prayer for all and each one of John McCain in peace and comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ Holy Name Ask!! The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit AMEN

-- Mary, Kentucky

I met this lovely person at the Leesburg Virginia airport when he was traveling with Col. Oliver North. We had discussions concerning Aviation during which he highly complimented me in my aviation endeavors. I am convinced that he is a true American Hero whose name should be memorialized along with this nations greatest.

-- david, Virginia

I am so very sorry to hear of the Senators passing. His life of service and dedication to our Country Has left this Country a better place and he will always be a role model. My sincere sympathy and thoughts to his Family.

-- Bill, Pennsylvania

I am a democrat who always admired Senator McCain. He was what every American should aspire to be, and that was never so true as it is today. Our deepest condolences to the McCain family who has our thoughts and prayers. We will greatly miss you Maverick!

-- Mark, Florida

John McCain was; is; and will always be an American Hero. Service and Duty to our Country/our Constitution above all is the hallmark of this flawed human being who dedicated his life to creating "a more perfect Union" rather than foolishly searching for the perfect ideology. He spoke to my Civic Heart from across the isle. He deserves a "Presidential" Library; it's the least a grateful nation can humbly offer him.

-- Manuel, New York

My heart and prayers are with the McCain family. I am so "thankful" for his service to our country and his family. May God bless and comfort you all. What a great man and leader.

-- jan, Arizona

God Bless him.

-- Andrew, California

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

I didn't know him. Sent some emails. I supported his presidential run. Truly sad to hear this recent news.

-- Fatbardh, New Jersey

John was what every politician and American should want to be. he will be truly missed.

-- Luanne, Illinois

People like John McCain are what truly make America great!

-- Kippi, Tennessee

I like John McCain, I wish I had meet him and his family.

-- David, Texas

John McCain was the epitome of an Honorable human being. I remember I wanted him to win the presidential election very much. May he rest in peace

-- lisa, New York

Dearest McCain Family, I am an officer of South Vietnam and was able to witness Senator McCain’s sacrifice and heroic actions during the war. We are forever indebted to him and his help getting us out of the communist education camp to freedom and took care of our community in Arizona. My thoughts are with your family during this time. Thank you, Tran Bui

-- Tran, Arizona

During 2000 primary, Sen. McCain gave a speech in Springfield NJ. I was police detective on security detail. He took time after speech to hang out with the cops and autographed his Faith of Our Fathers book for us. Real nice down to earth guy. A real American. Rest in Peace.

-- Judd, New Jersey

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

-- Jane, California

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

-- Mike, Washington

It's with the deepest heart felt sympathy I send this note. I am so sorry to hearing this. I know you must be with the knowledge that our Good Lord is watching over our Senator now. We pray for you the family at this time. God Bless you all.

-- Victor, Arizona

John, Senator. You always be a giant among man kind. May you rest in peace in Heaven. Love you.

-- Francois, Idaho

I voted for John Mc Cain for President. His words " A steady hand at the tiller " propelled me forward. Yes Sir.

-- Oscar, Texas

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 lost my big role model!

-- Chris, Germany

There is a belief that great people are even greater and have more influence in the after life. Certainly we can hope that Senator McCain will watch over us and continue to protect us from his new standing.

-- Joseph, Nevada

My memories of the Senator involve being introduced by LtCol Orson Swindle, USMC, POW, his and my friend. Will not write long, I admired the Senator for all the reasons others have said, but most of all because HE was a real patriot , and we as a strong Nati0n, in his image, will prevail.

-- Col Bob, Maine

I never met Sen. McCain, but I will miss you. Even though I am more liberal than conservative, I respected you and am grateful for your service to our country.

-- David, Missouri

Rest In Peace John... You will be missed.

-- Alvin, Oregon

My heartfelt sympathy to Cindy McCain, the McCain children and the rest of the McCain family for your loss. Senator McCain was a patriot and served our country well. Thank you for sharing him with us. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve.

-- Kathleen, Michigan

My deepest condolences to the family. I respected his work as a senator. Arizona has lost a great of the greatest! Rest In Peace, senator John Sydney McCain III.

-- EDWIN, Connecticut

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

Greatest hero of our time. Thank you for the examples you have set.

-- Lien, Maryland

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

-- Diane, Arizona

I am so thankful for Senator McCain's service and sacrifice for our country. I have appreciated his communication through the years when I reached out to him even though I wasn't from Arizona. We are keeping your family in our prayers!

-- Ken, Arkansas

I edmired him. he was the herro not only of america but herro of the entire world.

-- moshe, Israel

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

The truest definition of an American Patriot. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to our great state and nation. May your life be an inspiration to others. God Bless Senator McCain and his family. My deepest condolences, a fellow American.

-- Denise, 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

#IncredibleStrength - at a Public Town Hall John stood there and listened to every word without interrupting as a "disgruntled" Veteran read "a prepared speech", many pages long, time consuming, his raised voice and anger self-evident, criticizing John's Senate Record - then calmly, after asking the Veteran if he was finished, John added "if you can do better, run for the Senate".

-- Lance, Arizona

A great warrior for the United States. Gone but will never be forgotten.

-- Bruce, California

Senator McCain stood by us when we were in a position to lose our house, and intervened with Bank of America on our behalf. His help was invaluable to us and I will never forget his kindness, nor his and his office staff's efforts. RIP

-- Jessica, Arizona

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

I met Sen. McCain in 1997 during my tenure as Chairman of the RNHA. It was a priviledge to count on him and his staff to engage in different issues related to our Hispanic community for four years. He never said no, his doors were always open and was always ready to step forward. Later, in 2008, I had the honor to be his Delegate at the National Convention held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Always an Officer and a Gentleman! He will be missed. RIP Captain John McCain, USN (Ret)

-- Jose, Virginia

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.