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.
Well done good and faithful servant.
-- Marha, New York
He was a good man that cared about American's !!!! Rest In Peace!!!!!
-- Nichelle, Tennessee
God Bless. Sleep tight.
-- Tim, United Kingdom
Rest in Peace John. There will never be another John McCain.. We will miss you and will pray for you.
-- Paula, Arizona
In 2009, I was working as a physician in Phoenix and went to a meeting where John McCain was the guest speaker. After the speech, I was talking with some colleagues, turned around, and there was the Senator. I certainly did not expect that he would come out afterwards to talk with any of us. He shook my hand and thanked me for being a physician in the state. I stammered something about him always being an inspiration to me (I still have a copy of "Character is Destiny") that I am sure made little sense. Still - the fact that this important man would just come out and talk to local constituents like that always stuck with me. If the political winds had different timings, he would have been a superb President - but regardless he was a superb Senator and human being.
-- Marc, Colorado
I'll never forget Sen. McCain's graciousness when he invited me and a videographer into his home after I called to do a TV news story in 1994. I was new in Phoenix television and he made me feel so welcome. We met his wife and children and watched some boxing on tv with him too. Everytime I saw him in the public eye for so many years later, I remembered that day. He was a great American and a great person.
-- Dennis, Indiana
John was one of the good guys. I'm not American & not a fan of the Republicans. But John was a man to look up to, whatever your politics. You will be missed. RIP
-- John, United Kingdom
On my 3rd day interning on Capitol Hill in May 2001, I got on the trolley that goes from the Capitol to the Senate office buildings. Senator John McCain came around the corner, and sat down next to me. The first thing I asked him was, “Am I sitting in the Members-Only car?” He said “No, you’re fine.” For the next 4 minutes a Republican and a Democrat chatted about Bucks County, PA, Congressman Jim Greenwood, Penn State football, and campaign finance reform (I got a direct quote from the author of the McCain-Feingold bill for my summer semester paper). I’ll never forget the deep scars down the sides of his face, and thinking about all he had been through. He directed me to the bar I was going to for Happy Hour.
-- Amanda, Washington, D.C.
My deepest sympathy to the family of John McCain on their great loss.
-- Barry, New Mexico
As a daughter of a career Army Officer who served in Vietnam in 1969-1970 I knew the story of Senator McCain. Through the years I always talked to my Father about Senator McCain. My Father passed away at 94 on 10-17-17 and this October will be interred at Arlington. I cried when I heard the Senator passed away. Truly reading Meghan’s tribute reminded me how strong her Father was and though our Fathers never met they shared love of family and country.
-- Denise, Georgia
I am a democrat. Senator McCain was one conservative that I listened to. His love and desire for a better country shined through his words and deeds. Thank you Senator you will always have my respect
-- Gene, Washington
Honored to have voted for the Senator in 2000 Republican Presidental primary as well 2008 General election! One of the few votes in my lifetime that I am proud of. The country will be so much worse of without the unifying spirit of the late Senator. God bless his spirit and memory! My deepest condolences to the McCain family!
-- Dzafer, Illinois
My heartfelt thanks to Senator John McCain and to his family for his dedication to country, service and family. Love and admiration from my entire family... Henry, Laurie, Sasha and myself, God Bless you all
-- Lena, Idaho
John McCain, you were my HERO, you are my HERO! Rest in peace, I am going to miss you.
-- Saat, Florida
God Bless John McCain. He was a true American Patriot and served our country extremely well. May he rest in eternal peace in The House of The Lord.
-- Stephen, New Jersey
Senator John McCain was a true American Hero. His Service in Vietnam and in the Senate can be compared to none. He inspired hope and fought for what is right in so many ways. Senator McCain will be truly missed so very much. Much love & sympathy to his family in the loss of this great man.
-- Molly, Texas
He will be missed. May he rest in peace.
-- Beverly, New York
I met Senator McCain during his 2008 Presidential run, One of the highlights of my life. Unfortunately he lost, but I was struck by his display of character when defending President Obama as a good family man when a constituent expressed that she did not trust him. That’s what I will remember most about him. His character…
-- Robert, New Jersey
I met Senator McCain three times, once at a campaign rally in 2000 which is memorialized with a photo of him with me and my wife. We met more privately two other times where we discussed Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. I knew I was in the presence of an American patriot. At a time when are challenged at home and abroad his ,eacership will be sorely missed.
-- David, New Mexico
Thank you for your service to the United States of America, Senator John McCain! You have been a shining example to all of a hero, of a public servant, of a humanitarian, of a world leader! You were willing to fight for your country & die for it if needed. You never gave up. You endured torture that would have broken many. Your bravery is that of a super hero! You lived your life with dignity & have earned my respect as well as many throughout the USA & around the world! God bless you & your family! May you rest in peace, dear sir! You deserve it!
-- Wanda, Ohio
Thank you for your service to our country, Sir. May His Grace and Blessings be bestowed on your family. A true patriot and leader...
-- Kathy, Virginia
My memory of John is through my parents whom he helped many years ago with my father's case of Black Lung Disease and getting an appropriate settlement. Also, my father was in John's office in AZ when he asked my father "what do you think about my running for Barry's seat?" and my father pulled out his checkbook and said here's your 1st Senate campaign check.
-- Wayne, New Jersey
Senator John McCain: You have help me a number of times I am in your debt Sir. There are no words to say how much you will be missed sir.The United States has lost a great man and he will be missed. My prayers are with the family and may the father in heaven let you in sir when you arrive at the gates of heaven.God bless you sir as a veteran my self sir I have a heavy heart we have lost a brother in arms. may your soul rest in peace. Almighty father please take special care of this soul in Jesus name amen.
-- Antonio, Texas
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
The year Regan & Bush ran on the Republican ticket, there was a rally in downtown Phoenix. I attended with my mother and sister. It was there that Senator McCain was shaking hands in the crowd. My hand was one of the hands he shook. I grew up in Phoenix and am now 59. So this is a long-time memory for me. I respect and appreciate the work that Senator McCain did for our country and his service in the military to fight for my freedom. My hope is there will be many people to come who will have the ability to fight for the rights of all Americans and be able to work across the “aisle “ with each other for the unified goal of making laws that support, protect and grow the country for us and our children. May his memory be a blessing.
-- Joanne, Arizona
We were Naval Academy classmates. He was my naval and American hero.
-- Thomas, Hawaii
Thank you for your many years of service, Senator McCain. Your leadership is inspiring. We are grateful. Rest in peace.
-- Nancy, Pennsylvania
Anyone who went thru as a prisoner as he did deserves the highest honor possible I don't think there could be many of us who could have endured that.
-- Nicholas, Florida
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
Well done good and faithful servant....
-- Susan, Texas
John McCain, John McCain Hero, idol, eternal swain You lived an active life, nobly You will be missed by all, greatly.
-- mumtaz, Bangladesh
Thank you for all your service,I 'm sure this world will never see someone as remarkable as yourself. R.I.P
-- Jane, Arizona
You will be so missed. The country loved you. Rest in peace.
-- Connie, Arizona
We in Germany are grateful for this honorable and brave statesman of the whole western Community. R.I.P.
-- Jochen, Germany
My memory of John McCain will always be the class and dignity with which he conducted himself during and after the 2008 Presidential Campaign. There is no greater example of his extraordinary character.
-- Michael, Massachusetts
The last American hero. Honest, Brave, and Caring. He returned with Honor, and left with Honor.
-- Gregory, Michigan
Thanks for letting us know what respect really means. Senator McCain was one of the most honorable men I have ever seen in politics - a real hero. Fighting for the community and protecting the best values which everybody in the whole world is looking for. These memories will never die!
-- Markus, Germany
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
People like John McCain are what truly make America great!
-- Kippi, Tennessee
His military sacrifice in the line of duty..
-- Bob, New York
An Honorable man, an American Patriot devoted to what is right for America. You will be missed.
-- Nancy Morton, North Carolina
Our hearts go to the McCain family and our country for his lost!
-- Maria, Florida
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
A great man, and a hero for all eras. May his memory be eternal.
-- Martin, Illinois
Thank you Senator for your dedication to this nation. As a Ukrainian American I will also forever remember your support for Ukraine. RIP
-- Oksana, Washington
I first met Sen. McCain and heard him speak at a Tucson pilot's meeting at Pinal Airport in 1989 or 1990 (not sure exact). Amazing man. Godspeed, Senator.
-- Jeff, Arizona
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
R E S P E C T- one word that embodies John McCain and all he stands for.
-- Cornelia, Georgia
Senator McCain was a true American Hero and Patriot who deserves the respect and gratitude of EVERY American. Thank you Senator McCain for a job well done. Rest In Peace.
-- Leo J., New Jersey
To the McCain family we are sorry for your lost .The Leon Session Family Much Love ????
-- Leon&Verta, 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