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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.

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

A honest man, a fair human, thank you.

-- Uwe, Germany

Dear Cindy I am so deeply sympathy your husband he is good men We'll best to your family. Love you Anthony Canale

-- Anthony, New York

My thoughts and prayers are with his soul and his family. God Bless him and his family. We will miss his positive impact for ourUnited States.

-- Susan, Arizona

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

I hope John McCain’s influence will guide America in the days and months and years to come. His character, bravery and heart will never be forgotten. He would have been our greatest President, I believe. We need him now more than ever. I feel we the people let him down. Maybe now we can be an example for him.

-- Barbara J, New York

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

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

We lost a tremendous man, warrior and public servant. God speed to the family

-- Kevin, Illinois

Home is the sailor, home from the sea. Home is the hunter, home from the hill

-- Gert, Netherlands

I have always admired his courage. I enjoyed listening to him speak and reading his life story. I love how he addressed the American people “My Friend(s)”. I can still hear his voice in my head, “county first”. I am an immigrant and I know America is exceptional because of people like John McCain.

-- Sueet, Maryland


-- SHARON, Arizona

Few people accepted the call to duty that others ran from. You are a man that was for the people and for this country. I am grateful for your sacrifice and your families. Thank you. May God bless you and your family

-- Pam, Louisiana

thank you, Sir. and thank you, Cindy and family, for so generously sharing your husband/father/grandfather with us. it's been a trying journey, and your strength and faith inspire us, too. much love, and the peace of the Lord be with you at this time, and always.

-- Marie-Elizabeth, 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 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

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

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

-- ralph, Arizona

We‘ll never forget him as a fighter for freedom and democracy! Trump would like to win a war (we hope there will be no war). The free world won the most important war against aggressive cominism as to the strength primarily of USA. Senator John McCain always was a supporter of the transatlantic friend- and partnership. He was himself a very strong soldier and was almost tortured to death in his fight for freedom and justice! We cannot say thankyou enough and will never forget him. All the best wherever you are ( to be sure a good place) Mr. Senator McCain !!!

-- Klaus from Germany, Germany

Rest in Peace John. There will never be another John McCain.. We will miss you and will pray for you.

-- Paula, Arizona

When my late husband Carlos Apodaca passed Mr McCain was the only one who would listen to me and helped me get his benefits. After 4 years of fighting and getting nowhere he did it in six months. I will forever be grateful to him. You could see he was a kind and loving man who loved his Country and the people. May God rest his soul in peace and keep his family strong. I am sure he left a great legacy behind. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

-- Mary L, Arizona

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

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

Senator John McCain, you will always be our hero. No-one can fill the vacuum you have left behind.You will be truly missed. May your sweet soul REST IN PERFECT PEACE. Our sincere condolences to the McCain Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

-- Madonna, Arizona

God Bless him.

-- Andrew, California

Thank you for your sacrifice and service. You endured more than we could ever know. I appreciated your honesty and truth....even though I may not have always agreed. I supported and voted for you in 2008 because of you love of country and honesty. Rest in peace sir! Prayers for the entire McCain family as you grieve the loss of this great man. May God and Americans wrap you in hugs and prayers. May God Bless America!

-- Chris, Ohio

My Deepest Sympathy to the family..He was truly a protector of our Freedom..He is now a Heavenly Angel ..

-- RoseAnn, Pennsylvania

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

As a former Scoutmaster, SenMccain would den alter tI My new Eagle Scouts. It inlckude. a letter about making a flag out of scraps while he was a prisoner. My son still has his letter and he is 48 now. He never failed to make this Scout feel good.

-- John, Arizona

His 2008 concession speech showed the Great man he was. Rest well John. Clyde McDonald

-- Clyde, Washington, D.C.

I always admired his clear stands and his military career. The US lost one of their moral leaders in a time of uncertainness. Rest in peace Salute

-- Alexander, Germany

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

Always a statesman. You did your country proud.

-- Elissa, North Carolina


-- WILLIAM, Kansas

While I have never met John in person, I have followed his career with great admiration for his honesty and patriotic stance along with his strong support for our military. When we heard of his diagnosis of Glioblastoma it hit home hard as our adult son Douglas Fadely, was diagnosed with the same brain tumor in July of 2016. Doug is still doing well after surgery in July, 2016 and further treatments but it is like a time bomb. Our hearts go out to John's family and we know the suffering is over for John and he is living now in a pain free kingdom. We have lost a great man and we loved him dearly from afar.

-- Jan, Florida

While in college at the University of Arizona, I worked on Senator McCain's first bid for the senate. I always admired Senator McCain's service to our country, his honesty and tenacity. May he Rest In Peace.

-- Janet, Wyoming

He inspired me to get re engaged with my country I called for days in support for campaign finance reform I hope his passing inspires people to come together I’ll never forget him Thank You Gary DeRogatis

-- Gary, New Jersey

John McCain was a true American hero. He truly represented loyalty to the laws of the US. He will be sorely missed especially in today's political climate where independent thinking is crucial to our democracy.

-- Dale, Arizona

"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

I didn’t know John McCain but admired him as a true Statesman! I am sorry to say there don’t seem to be many true Statesmen left Who have the courage to put country above party and ego. I hope his legacy and the outpouring of condolences will inspire our current leaders to take the highroad And follow his example.

-- Linda, Florida

He was the best and finest... and a rare thing -- an honest man who led us with decency and with care through tough times. He is already missed, and we can only pray that there is a future John McCain out there who will dedicate their life to doing what he tried to do -- govern with honor and with compromise and compassion and, yes, with Decency. Rest in Peace, John McCain. We were lucky and blessed to have had you serve us all those years. Thank you.

-- Donna and Michael, Arizona

Dear Mrs. McCain and family: We would like to express our condolences to you, Honorable John McCain’s Family, for your great loss. Words are inadequate at this time of grief, but we would like you to know that we will always cherish the memories of the Senator as a Combat Hero in Vietnam, enduring six years of harsh imprisonment at the so-called “Hanoi Hilton”. The Senator fought alongside us against the invasion of the Communists to ensure Freedom for the South Vietnamese people. As our Greatest Benefactor, The Senator wrote the McCain Amendment, signed into Law in 2002, which restored derivative refugee status to save thousands of South Vietnamese Prisoners of War and their families from the retribution of the Vietnamese Communists. Senator McCain was a "fighter" and a true "patriot" until the very end; his legacy of service and "love of country" were unparalleled. We send our prayers for "peace" and "healing." Respectfully Yours, Tan Nguyen Republic of Vietnam Veteran

-- Tan, Virginia

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

Senator John McCain was a compassionate man and took a stand against torture. I am thankful for all he had done for the world.

-- John, South Dakota

Thank you Senator McCain for your service to our great state and country. I wish there were more statesmen like you who would put country first and resolve our problems this country faces - regardless of partisan ideology. Rest in peace, sir!

-- Kathy, Arizona

I feel the loss of you, Senator McCain. I mourn you no longer being here and I know how special you were. I wish you could have stayed.

-- Meredith, Alaska

Election 2008 inspired my son ( 13 year old at the time ) to be involved in politics. Together with me, we attended gatherings in support of John McCain. We believed that man of his moral standing was the ideal candidate for the presidency. Although, he didn't win, he continued to served the country in an exemplary manner. So very sorry for your loss. May the sweet memories be of solace at this painful time.

-- Nora, New Jersey

My family and I had the honor of meeting Senator McCain at a craniofacial conference on Capital Hill in 1999. He was so kind and spoke with each family individually. A few years later and after exhausting all hope with a very crooked insurance company , I turned to the Senator for guidance on how to get my daughter’s medical procedure covered. He, in turn, contacted our insurance company and had the final appeal overturned and approved. He did not have to help us but he did. A man of integrity and character. We will always be grateful. Forever in our hearts. Well done good and faithful servant??

-- Kim, Texas

I honor and Respect all that he has done. My personal brief enconter wad working on his presentatioal campaign in 2008. I was proud to participate and surprised my Family for the first time ever to actiely want to participate in a Campaign, that was how dtrongly I respected Senator John McCain. The closest I ever got to him was in PHX when he had his presidential loss he was so Gracious. I still am so glad and proud that the time I devoted to Senator John McCain. With Love and Grace to his family and colleagues at this time with Prayers.

-- Leslie K, Arizona

Thank you Sir for your service. Prayers and love to your family. I feel proud to know now that he is on the Right side of our Father, watching over us. Sincerely, Bert Druckenbroad

-- Bert, Ohio

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.