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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.

True Hero, Man of Honor, my family and I had the honor to meet and speak with the greatest American hero of our times!

-- Ali, California

You will be missed. Continue to watch over us. Thank you for your service Our American Hero. RIP

-- paula, New York

A true patriot and hero. Few today can understand the courage he had and the service he gave to his country. BRAVO ZULU, John from a fellow USNA grad.

-- Charles, Washington

We in Germany are grateful for this honorable and brave statesman of the whole western Community. R.I.P.

-- Jochen, Germany

I was privileged to represent John in a few small legal matters back in the 1990’s. John retained me because our mutual friend, John Dowd, referred me. I remember feeling enormously proud to represent a man I so deeply admired. He was an easy client to please. His colleague Jon Kyl and I were law partners for twenty-six years before he went to the House of Representatives with John. And I had the rare pleasure of watching a football game or two with him at Sun Devil Stadium. While my interaction with him was infrequent, I immensely enjoyed his quick smile and a few small things we shared about my service in the USAF and his in the USN. Perhaps the most important reminder I have of him is the blurb he wrote for the back cover of my 2004 book about the famous Miranda v. Arizona case. I was an Independent voter when John first came to Arizona, and I voted for him every time. He was brave, good, and true. There are others, but very few in the U.S. Senate today.

-- Gary, Arizona

So sorry for the loss to your family and our nation. Senator McCain was a true statesman.

-- carol, New Jersey

Godspeed Senator McCain.

-- Stanley, Maryland

Sen. John McCain taught us what honor, true patriotism and basic human decency look like. He will be missed.

-- Max, Pennsylvania

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

What human being today would turn down a rescue from horrific conditions if his fellow brethren weren’t released? NONE. THIS GENTLEMAN IS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER

-- Helen, Florida

Senator John McCain, one of the great leaders in the U.S. and around the world, is remembered for his faith, dignity, leadership, his love for people everywhere, and his love for his family. Senator McCain will be greatly missed by all, and especially by his comrades and friends in Arizona and Washington, D.C. Senator McCain has made the world a better place with his faith, integrity, leadership; his stand for democracy and freedom for all. His books are a great inspiration and teaching for this generation and the generations to come. Senator McCain's Leadership Institute will teach and bring other leaders for freedom and democracy for peoples all over the world. Senator McCain has been a great servant to Americans and to people in other countries of the world. His faith in God, courage and determination, are an inspiration for everyone all over the world.

-- Teresa, Kentucky

In awe of his amazing service to this country! Well done. Prayers for comfort and lasting memories of laughter for all.

-- Sonya, Maryland

Death can never take a good man away, for in the hearts of the people he inspired, his legacy remains and continues throughout generations. Sen. John S. McCain will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in peace. Please accept my humble condolences.

-- Jean Marc, Belgium

We have lost a great American. He loved his country and worked for it to be better every day. I had the honor of being with him during his Presidential campaign in Tampa, Florida . Rest in peace. God bless him and his family.

-- Jose, Florida

I met the Senator at a state Republican meeting when I was a precinct committeeman. He shook my hand warmly and thanked me for what I did. No, thank you, Senator McCain! You are a true American hero! God bless!

-- Mary, Arizona

I was a Democrat, but when John ran for President, I'd always said that if he ever ran , I would support him. Party didn't matter as much to me as the intent and decency of the candidate. John is the reason I became a bipartisan ..until trump...and I will be again when integrity is restored to the GOP... by emulating John's ethics. It can honestly be said that John was a "great man", that only comes along in decades. I wasn't prepared, though I knew it might come. Even now, John helps us differentiate the split screen contrast between revered and notoriety. He helped us through the troubled days of late while he was here, and will be the inspiration for us to regain our country's place in the world. I will remember you, John.

-- Jenneva, Arizona

To the entire McCain family, and all the people of the US of A, please accept my sincerest condolences on you loss of a truly proud American and supported of the American people and the country that he fought for both in war and public life. I sincerely wish that all elected officials around the world strive to attain the same level of honour and commitment to the people they represent, their countries and all the people of the world. You will be missed.

-- Louis, Canada

A Man who put America and it's people first and fought to acheive it. John was one of a kind There should be more like him in American Government RIP John You will surely be missed

-- Pat, West Virginia

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

-- Diane, Arizona

When I think of the legacy of John McCain I think of a man who was so humble, that he cared more about what God thought about him, than what others believed. He did not follow the crowd, nor run with whatever the latest fad was to be. Honesty and the ability to see through all the rhetoric was the mainstay of this wonderful patriot. We could all learn a lot from him and I hope those in government take a moment to realize who and what they have lost. Our country has grown a bit poorer with his passing...

-- Dave, California

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 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

Thank you, Senator John McCain. I am so grateful for your service to our country. God bless your family in this time of tremendous loss.

-- Dolores, Pennsylvania

He was truly on of American Heros in my book and I wuill keep him in my prayer

-- James, Louisiana

Thank you for your service John McCain. Heart breaking, so sad!

-- John, California

My greatest memory is working on his campaign for President. I was a volunteer on the ground floor of HQ in Crystal City. The room suddenly filled with volunteers. We were told John & Cindy were on their way. They arrived to a packed room with news cameras following. I was standing off to the side. The news wanted a photo with a volunteer after he spoke to us. He looked over at me and drew me into the picture. What a day! Sympathies to family and friends!

-- Sally, Virginia

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

I think of John McCain as a comrade who served this great Nation with love of service to country, family, self, and humanity. God Bless his Spirit and God Bless America.

-- Paul, California

I remember Senator McCain as a great patriot and a great American which to me is the greatest honor I can bestow on him.

-- Ivan, Washington

I never met you but I can see a Great person in you. You served for our country. I am a democrat and in the last few years, the way you were treated were unfair and not deserved. I will pray for you and your family during this difficult time Sir.

-- Abraham, New York

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

I never had the privilege of meeting Senator McCain though I have long admired his dedicated service to our country through military and public service. Thank you for your service! Country First Godspeed John McCain Were gonna miss ya!

-- Ray, Arizona

Thank you for everything Senator McCain. I will always be grateful for your service and for repairing US-Vietnam relations.

-- Peter, California

What an honorable guy...wish I’d have met him! I identify with his quick fuse, and sense of humor. To me, his humanity and decency shown brightly when the woman at a rally called Barack Obama an Arab, and John rebuked her...and how he got many jabs in at Obama at the Al Smith dinner, but then honored him. WOW! Imagine our president (small p) doing anything like either of those things today. So sad! From what I knew, I loved the man! We need to honor him through integrity and service that we do now daily. My heart reaches out to the McCain family.

-- Roger, Nebraska

Our prayers and thoughts are with the McCain family. He will be truly missed

-- David, California

May God Bless The McCain family.

-- Antonio, Delaware

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

Mi mas sincera condolencia a la familia y a todos sus seres queridos, se ha perdido una grande persona y un ser humano extraordinario para la historia de EEUU . estara en mi memoria y en la de todos los americanos. un ciudadano español. gracias por poder expresar mis sentimientos.

-- jose javier, Spain

To the McCain family; My families deepest respect to the TRUE PATRIOT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. History speaks for itself, and John McCain stands alone in his accomplishments. He would have made a historic president, but still took care of business for the common people. We are truly proud of the service your family committed to our country. THANK YOU

-- Doug, California

My love and prayers go to the family of this fine man. When he first started in politics both my daughter and myself worked in his office and worked for him. We also worked for Jon Kyl and Barry Goldwater. Prayer and hope that his replacement will be of a very high caliber, like Jon Kyle. I hope young people will read of his devotion and learn what keeps America the land of the free!

-- Billie, Oregon

He was the first, and only politician who spoke for me-- a Vietnam vet. Rest In Peace

-- David, Vermont

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

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

The death of Senator McCain is not only a great loss in the US, his death is a loss for all democrats in the world who fight for freedom and their believes. Senator McCain was an extraordinary and independent personality who did not just say what the present leadership wants to hear. The current policy is poor with characters like him.

-- Torsten, Germany

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

Forever my hero!

-- Bengi Poston, Texas

I was very saddened to hear of Mr. McCain's passing. I was (and still am) an admirer of the man. I wish he had run for president. He was one of the few true patriots in this country. He will be sorely missed.

-- Teresa, Nebraska

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

I will always be grateful for his courage to do the right thing. Thank you John. See you in heaven.

-- Stephen, Washington

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

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.