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.
Heard him speak to our PAC when he was running for Senator: He mentioned that he got through his POW days by having faith in 3 things: his fellow soldiers (they would rescue him if they could); his Country (they would never forget him and they would rescue him if they could); his God (he was always with him) - I am paraphrasing what he said but I admired him greatly from that day forward. A wonderful man!!!
-- Charlotte, California
I just wish we had 2008 to do over again!!! John McCain was a great man. I voted was for him in both 2000 and 2008.
-- Joseph, Illinois
God Speed Senator John McCain. You are a great American and public servant. Thanks for all you have done for America and the world. YN1 Pamela C Ranberg, USN (Retired)
-- Pamela, Maryland
Thank you for being a continual beacon of decency and forthrightness for all Americans. Rest, knowing you will be missed.
-- Nicole, Ohio
As former residents of Arizona we were always proud that John McCain represented our state. We remember Senator McCain taking time out of his very busy schedule to show his support of support Linkages (an organization promoting the employment of people with disabilities). John McCain was truly a man of action and not just lip-service. May his family find comfort in the expressions of gratitude and admiration so deeply felt by people all over the world.
-- Charles and Julia, Tennessee
Thanks You John for your service. Rest assured you will be missed. My condolences to your family.
-- Jeff, Missouri
Great, great man!! He had steel backbone and and was a model of principled leadership. Service to God and country before self. He was from the fabric all leaders should aspire to be made of.
-- MATTHEW, Virginia
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
I met John and Cindy in Santa Clara, California in 2000. As a retired naval aviator myself, I have a deep respect for John's leadership and patriotism.
-- Stan, Washington
I lost my big role model!
-- Chris, Germany
Sorry for your loss
-- Joan, New York
He was truly on of American Heros in my book and I wuill keep him in my prayer
-- James, Louisiana
I loved supporting him for President, my heart was broken when Obama won, John you were a true hero. A true states man. You gave us reason to trust an believe. How lucky the Lord God is to have you. You will truly be missed. Please watch over us from that garden above.
-- Rhonda, New Mexico
I got to meet Senator McCain when I was a young Congressional Staffer in Washington D.C. in 1990. Way back then there was only one Washington D.C. luminary I wanted to meet, it was Sen. John McCain. Try as I might, I could never track him down. Then 3 days before I left Washington, as I was standing at street corner waiting fr the "walk" sign I heard that "voice" and looked to my right and my wish was granted. I said Hello Sen. McCain, I'm from Yuma, and he said well its very nice to see you & inquired about my family and wished me success on my future. Sen. McCain was CLASS and defined SERVICE. He should have been President and showed us what dignity truly is. All my prayers to his family.
-- RODNEY, Arizona
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson In every sense, we can say that Senator John McCain succeeded.
-- Anthony, Georgia
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
I just want to thank Mr. McCain for his service to our country and the trials he endured for the country he loved. My sympathies to his family. May he now rest in the peace that God has for him. Thank you for your courage.
-- Sharon, Louisiana
John McCain represented the best of our country. He served his God, his country and his family in true style. He believed in discussing our differences and reaching a compromise position. The D's and Rs need to follow this philosophy . Unity should be our goal.
-- Linda, New Jersey
Senator John McCain is why we stand during the National Anthem. Period. RIP John, you will be truly missed.
-- Tina, Arizona
As an American, I feel a genuine sense of loss knowing that Senator McCain has passed. No matter what I or anyone may say about his party, or his political choices, no reasonable person would argue about the basics. He was a public servant of the highest order. He was a war hero. He was an outstanding American in every regard. Most importantly, he truly understood and defended American Values, to the very end. We are all better off for the sacrifices he made. I will miss him very much. My humblest and most sincere condolences to his family.
-- Scott, Massachusetts
John McCain's courage inspired me to face my own cancer diagnosis.
-- Kathryn, Washington
I am a Texas resident, but that Didn’t keep me from Donating to Mr McCain re- election campaign.To me he was a true Republican. Admire his tenacity, and courage . True warrior. He will be missed by a lot of people. My condolences to all the Mc Cain family. May his Soul Rest In Peace.
-- Gustavo, Texas
Our country lost its great son. RIP John. World won't be the same with out you. You deserved to be and you will be remembered by millions of people around the world. America had been blessed by decades of your service.
-- Stan, New York
A leader. A patriot. An honorable soul. A true American.
-- Adam, Michigan
and this the power family I m send though my senator McCain touched the lives of people everywhere he traveled 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 johns 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 johns life by continuing his legacy of service and leaving this world a better place for generations to come the McCain family
-- ashley, Florida
A true American statesman; keeping his country first. My hero!
-- Sheila, Michigan
To a dedicated military and statesman I say a job well done and need more like you to follow. You could never be replaced with your prisoner of war and political records you have done this wonderful country a great deed. Gods blessings.
-- John, Texas
Rest in Peace, Warrior!
-- William, Indiana
Senator John McCain was truly an American Hero and an inspiration for all regardless of party or political orientation, as he understood the requirements of our form of government and put them into practical use, recognizing that the nation was more important than any party. His passing is a great loss to his family and the nation.
-- Robert, California
Not a memory, but a wish! A wish that those in Congress would learn from him and share his true bipartisan integrity and humanity for all! Thank you John McCain for you service, your love of America, and for maintaining a positive, professional, and inclusive approach in a time that many others don't. To all of John McCain's family and close friends, know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of millions of grateful Americans and others around the world! God bless!
-- Craig, Illinois
As a younger man, I attended the Republican National Convention where John McCain told the story of his comrade in captivity making the American flag. “A little scrap of red. A little scrap of blue.” I cannot retell that story today to my sons without crying. Thanks be to God for the life and service of John McCain.
-- Fred, South Carolina
Thank you Senator McCain for your service & sacrifice to our country and your undying/unwavering commitment to make our country better for all. God speed and fly high. Gods blessings of peace to his family and friends.
-- Dana, Illinois
You will be missed my friend. My memories in our work to make America what it is today.
-- Randall Spreitzer, Arizona
Always a hero. Love and prayers to the family.
-- Linda, Missouri
Sympathy and admiration from a veteran and his spouse. Our country has lost an extraordinary and inimitable life. Rest in peace to a heroic soul.
-- Vito, Georgia
His military sacrifice in the line of duty..
-- Bob, New York
He was really awesome human being We will miss you Mr McCain ?may you Rest In Peace with no more pain
-- Ana, California
It was such an honor working on the 2008 campaign. If anyone deserved to be the President of this country, Senator John McCain was the one. Spent his entire life serving this country, what a loss to all Americans.
-- Candace, California
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 our country both in the military and senate! my sympathy to the McCain family
-- Arlene, Mississippi
Senator John McCain was a man of honor and brave war hero who always put his country and family first. He is an inspiration to every American and we will miss him. May he Rest In Peace.
-- Dan, New Jersey
A man of class who always always always took the high road.
-- Paula, Washington
He was a great man and my hope in this hard time for our country. Will be remembered forever!
-- vladislav, Pennsylvania
Heartfelt sympathies to the entire McCain family. A true Maverick willing to help others even those he never met. Thank you for your service, celebration and humility.
-- Kathleen, Florida
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
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 sir, for your service to our country. We honor and appreciate your sacrifices. Condolences to your Family and Friends.
-- Jean & David, California
I want to send my deepest sympathy to the family of John McCain. Thank you Mr. McCain for your service to this country. Rest In Peace.
-- Debbie, Delaware
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
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
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