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.
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
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
Senator John McCain was one of my heroes. His ability to see both sides and to do what he felt was in the best interested attracted me to him from the beginning. I share the sorrow of the nation and his family as we mourn the death of this true statesman. May Light Perpetual Shine on him.
-- Susan, Mississippi
He was not only a true warrior, but also a friend, He will always be remembered for his leadership.
-- Anthony, Arizona
To the McCain family, my family and I wish to offer our sincere condolences on your loss. To me, Senator McCain personifies the meaning of what it is to be a real American patriot. He truly followed the path of Robert Jordan by sacrificing for his country. I admire him for admitting that he after all was human and capable of making mistakes. But he said that's ok as long as you own it. As a Vietnam veteran I would just like to say REST IN PEACE may God be with you
-- Ruben, California
I am a democrat in Tucson, AZ. I have great respect for this man. He worked across the aisle for the good of ALL Americans and the whole world. There will never be anyone like him. I bet Aretha Franklin is ushering him into heaven with her songs!!! Well done, good and faithful servant!
-- Kathleen, Arizona
My deep condolences to the McCain family. One of the best politicians in the Western world.
-- ALESSANDRO, Italy
My wife and I first met Senator McCain and his wife in 2007 in Dover, NH at a small intimate gathering unique to NH's place in politics, as he began his 2008 Presidential bid. As he shook hands with the small crowd we mentioned our son was in Iraq, and was supportive of his policies for that region. Senator McCain seemed genuinely interested, and Cindy spent more than a few moments chatting with my wife, mentioning their son would be deploying soon. We became volunteer works on Senator McCain's campaign (the first and only time we've felt the need to do that)) and as such had a few occasions to speak with him. Amazingly, he always remembered to ask about our son. We found him to be a genuine and thoughtful person. A true American who's life's impact will reverberate well into the future. Thoughts and prayers for family.
-- Mark & Deb, New Hampshire
Thank you for your service to America. RIP Senator McCain
-- Joseph, Alabama
Dear Senator John McCain's widow and family, please receive my deepest condolences. As Vietnamese citizens, my wife, Lawyer Nguyen Thi Duong Ha and I am extremely grateful for his great contribution in normalizing and promoting US-Vietnam relations for the mutual benefit of the two countries and for security in South China Sea area. As a human rights prisoner of the Vietnamese government, I greatly appreciated his tireless efforts to improve human rights and promote the rule of law in Vietnam. I personally met and talked with him on Capitol Hill when he attended a campaign for democracy and human rights in Vietnam. The photo taken with him on that occasion would be a precious memory for me. May Senator John McCain rest in eternal peace! Dr Cu Huy Ha Vu
-- VU, Virginia
Senator McCain has been a true Patriot with great love of country. He was a true Statesman and man of honor and integrity. He will be missed by those who knew him and citizens just like me! God is welcoming this special soul!
-- Jane, Florida
John McCain for me was a man who I greatly respected. He fought for what he believed was right regardless of "how the party" felt about the issue. Integrity ran through and through John. His response to the lady at a political event "defending Obama" truly showed a man of grear integrity. I am proud to say that I had an opportunity to vote many times for John McCain. He will be missed by our country and the world. I thank the McCain family for sharing him with us.
-- Rev. Louie, Arizona
Thank you sir, for your service to our country. We honor and appreciate your sacrifices. Condolences to your Family and Friends.
-- Jean & David, California
Our country most definitely lost a hero. I am proud that I reside in the same state as John McCain. He will be greatly missed.
-- Lynne, Arizona
My prayers go to john McCain Family he will be remember
-- Anthony, Pennsylvania
I first met John McCain during the 1982-83 school year at Northern Arizona University. I remember it was a small event and John got up and addressed the group; and he shared his vision as he embarked on his first elected office representing Arizona. I left that event and remember telling a good friend how impressed I was by JOHN MCCAIN! All these years later I still feel the same. John McCain was a true patriot and he will be missed by All Americans! RIP dear friend! Thank you for your Leadership!! As a young student, JOHN was the first politician I ever endorsed without the influence of Family or Friends.
-- Andrew D., Illinois
A truly world citizen - a hero to the world - rest in peace "sir"with love-respect - peace be with you and your family
-- JOHN, Canada
This country has lost a guiding light. I’m saddened for his loss and my prayers are with the family. I know that he is looking down on heaven watching over us. My wish is his passing will inspire others in Congress to take up his cause.
-- Al, Pennsylvania
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
Mr senator John McCain one of my heroes deeply condolences
-- Oscar A, Florida
We worked for you in 2000 and were able to meet you twice in 2002. You were always one of the "good guys." Thank you for all you said and did in public life.
-- Carolyn & Bob, Arizona
John McCain was a true American hero. Probably the most significant hero of my lifetime.
-- Rick, California
Fair winds and following seas Warrior. Your sacrifices will not be forgotten.
-- Justin, Arizona
Good bye Senator McCain,thank you for your service, you were a real hero.. You'll be gone but never forgotten. Rest in peace
-- Rose, Massachusetts
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
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
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
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
Thank you John for your service to all people of this nation. both in war and peace. Fair winds and calm seas on your journey. RIP.
-- Robert, California
I meet him in maybe 2001 in the AZ airport gift shop. I asked for a photo and his daughter Megan took it. We took a few since I am a blinker. Back then a regular camera so had to wait till I was back in Texas to develop. I called my mom from a pay phone to tell her.
-- Shelly, Texas
So grateful for a strong man who was a POW for 5 1/2 years, returned and gave more service to his country through the political arena, and was strong enough to speak out against one of our leaders who had continued to tear our country apart without Senator McCain getting down in the dirt with the individual. As the step-son of Dowell McCain, another WWII veteran, who passed on some years ago, I am proud to have been encouraged by the life and legacy of Senator McCain!
-- Edward, Texas
Senator McCain was one of the last great politicians in this country. I will remember him as a principled man who stuck to his guns and argued for what he thought was right, regardless of who was on the opposite side of the issue or his party’s position. I doubt that we will be fortunate enough to see any politician like him again. I am grateful to him for his service to our country and to his adherence to his principles. I send my love and respect to his family and hope they will know how much the American people will miss him.
-- David, New Jersey
Mr. McCain, with your life story you leave behind. You make me proud to be from Arizona and an American. You will be greatly missed. May you Rest In Peace.
-- Maria, Arizona
We never met or saw him speak personally but always respected his service to our country. Thank you Senator John McCain.
-- Martin & Cheryl, Wisconsin
Then Congressman McCain’s office was next to my Member Bob Davis in Longworth HOB, circa 1983-85. I was Bob’s press secretary and we became friends with John and his staff. He was a regular guy and would exchange pleasantries in the hallway and the adjoining restroom. Each office had a restroom for the Member, but John would frequent the staff facility like it was no big deal. He treated us with friendly banter and one of the guys. I’ve been a fan ever since.
-- Paul, Michigan
McCain Patriarch. American. Patriot. My-Kind-Of-Republican. Proverbs 31:8. Combative. Collaborator . Humble. Noble. Funny. Unpredictable. Honorable. Character. Intellectually Sovereign. Solid. Scrupled. Passionate. Unique. Tenacious. Unequivocal. Bookish. Incontrovertible. Steadfast. Vodka Snob. Charming. .........So Missed.
-- M, Texas
God Bless him.
-- Andrew, California
You were a great man of God May you RIP.
-- Harry, Virginia
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
In 1982 John McCain sat down with myself and so to be wife Karen and talked to us at Temple Beth Israel. We occasionally cross ed paths again at different sporting events in the Valley of the Sun. I did volunteer work with his son Andrew at different Fiesta Bowl Events. Hopefully John McCain Name with be on different buildings throughout Arizona. Mr. McCain helped my son Nathan play football in the Down Under Bowl game in Australia in 2009. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ?? STATE OF ARIZONA ??.
-- MICHAEL, Arizona
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see GOD. Senator John McCain had every reason to be hard hearted, but time and time again, John forgave...pure hearted John forgave. He always looked forward, not back. He walked the walk. He kept reaching. He was human, but he didn't quit. He kept looking up. God is his strength. So yes, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see GOD. Thank you McCain Family for sharing John with us. We pray you know God's presence, love and comfort during these very difficult days.
-- Debbie, Virginia
Condolences to the McCain family - Sen. McCain was the best of the best, somebody with an unbreakable spirit. We need more like you, lots more.
-- Tina, California
Condolence to the family. God bless and be with all of you now and always. I pray that God will meet all your needs during this time.
-- Shirley, Alabama
Thank you for embodying American, and especially, Arizonian ideals. Even when tried, I've never felt you were disagreeable, but properly and rightly stubborn and principled. Rest in peace Senator.
-- Coltor, Arizona
we miss you and we prays you alway..............
-- HUONG, Virginia
He came to Jacksonville years ago to sign his new book at a local bookstore. My daughter and I waited on line for two hours, when we finally got to him, I asked him if his arm was hurting from signing so many books. He laughed and said he'd been through worse.
-- Kathryn, Florida
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
Rest well, Mister McCain. You did well in your life.
-- Quan, California
From on Veteran to another Veteran, My deep condolences to the McCain’s family. My respect and salute to a Veteran.
-- Kevin, Virginia
I had never voted in my life, then I heard that John McCain was running for President of the United States. I voted for the first time - ever - for John McCain.
-- Teres, Pennsylvania
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