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.
wow he will be sadly missed a great man who put his country and its people first .
-- chris, Australia
Mr. McCain is a true hero. When viewing my own life it doesn't even compare to his. He will always be a hero of mine.
-- Shane, Michigan
I had the proud preivlege of meet Sentor McCain during a campaign rally stop in Wisconsin during his second campaign bid. His way of politics and reaching across the aisle in Congress will be missed. The maverick will be missed. I wish his soul rest and hold his family up in my prayers during this difficult time.
-- Martin, Wisconsin
God bless Senator John McCain. God bless America.
-- Tim, New Hampshire
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
My heart and prayers go out to McClain family we love you stay strong and remember what he stands for unity and love he will always be our hero
-- Shirley, South Carolina
I humbly come before you God, asking that you bless and comfort his family and his extended family in the United States Senate as well as his beloved Navy. Welcome this patriot into the Gates of Heaven; and give him a hero's homecoming and may both Admiral McCain Sr. and McCain Jr. be present along with every military member who has passed before him rendering the much deserved hand salute. And with the final words O' Lord, say the honorable words, "Welcome home thy good and faithful servant, welcome home". Senator McCain sir, You have fought the good fight, and you have claimed your mountain in the United States Senate and in the State of Arizona. Rest easy sir. We'll take the watch from here. #HandSalute
-- Nolan, Texas
Mr. McCain, Very saddened, to hear of your passing. I remembered the good times,over looking the bad times. I was stationed, in Vietnam, in 71-72. Like you, 08/19/51 is a good month, for me. I pray for your family, with these difficult times. You have given me incentive, to return to the Medical field. Have been an RN for 38 years. God bless your family. Keep the faith. Allen Duquette.
-- Allen, New York
Senator McCain was a true American Hero. His service to our country including the fact he could have been released from Vietnam during his capture but said no, he would not leave his fellow soldiers behind, is a show of true loyalty and courage which cannot be matched. Thank you Senator for your service during the war and thank you for your public service thereafter in Congress. America was blessed to have you.
-- John, Pennsylvania
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
Dear Family, I will always remember the wonderful eulogy delivered at the funeral of my beloved cousin, Col Bud Day. The association of these two heros was remarkable on earth and now eternal in heaven. Now they are both flying with the angels . May God be with and comfort you in your sorrow
-- Geraldine, Iowa
Dear Senator, Thank you for your service to our country. May you rest in peace.
-- Jordan, Massachusetts
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
Sen McCain I miss your honesty and wisdom. You are our Hero and we will never forget your sacrifice and contributions to our great Country. Ramesh V Kapur
-- Ramesh, Massachusetts
Our country has lost not only a Great statesmen but a true hero. My prayers go out to the family. But know, he will be well received at his new post.
-- Leonard, Illinois
As just an ordinary citizen on the other side of the political spectrum, I didn't always agree with Senator McCain. But I admired his tenacity, his blatant love of the USA, his devotion to its citizens and his ability to work with the other side of the aisle (sometimes going against his own party's stance) to achieve meaningful legislation. He was one of the old guard who demonstrated integrity, wit and straight talk. The world was a better place with him in it and be assured his legacy will live on. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us. My sincerest condolences.
-- Renee, Florida
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
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
Thank You Sir! A patriot and a hero - America will never see a political leader like him again.
-- John, Portugal
Senator McCain has been a role model in American and international politics. Not only his ability to speak out on controversial issues will be missed, also here in Europe. He will always be remembered for his graceful concession speech, praising Barack Obama in 2008 - what a great man. R.I.P
-- Christopher M., Germany
-- Vikram, Georgia
My husband, a retired Vet, died of Alzheimer's in 2016. But when he was still clear of mind and could speak, he would constantly speak about Senator McCain and his strength, honesty and gentle personality. He didn't know the Senator personally. But it was a great comfort to him that Senator McCain "was there to help us all". Comfort to all of the McCain Family. He can now rest among the heroes.
-- Marie A., Virginia
I JUST WANTED TO EXPRESS MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY AND PRAYERS TO THE McCAIN FAMILY.ALTHOUGH AS A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT I DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM[MY MISTAKE}I FOLLOWED AND RESPECTED THIS TRULY WONDERFUL MAN AND GREAT PATRIOT.HE WILL BE MISSED MY ALL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD AND MOST OF ALL BY ALL AMERICANS.I HOPE YOU FIND PEACE KNOWING HE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT AND IS AT PEACE WITH GOD.MAY GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY AND HELP YOU THRU THIS VERY SAD TIME.P.S THANK YOU FOR SHARING JOHN WITH US.GOD BLESS
-- THOMAS, New York
I campaigned for Senator McCain when he ran for President. I hold him in the highest esteem and pray for his family.
-- Bettie, Texas
A honest man, a fair human, thank you.
-- Uwe, Germany
To the McCain Family, I, will forever remember Senator John McCain, as a man with the highest degree of integrity and honesty. His legacy, and his principles will live on and inspire many. Senator John McCain, displayed amazing truth and honesty to the very end. He was able to disinvite the heartless, rude and crude President of the United States of America, to his own Funeral Service. I support and take comfort in John McCain's decision. Today, we will salute, Senator John McCain. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
-- Alfrieda, Wisconsin
Sen. McCain is a tremendous loss to this country. He was a national treasure, and it’s a good thing that he stood for things bigger than himself because those things outlived him. We still have what was most important about him: the fruits of a committed life. As a retired Marine, I salute you, sir!
-- Will, California
Mr. McCain, you are a respected American hero. R.I.P.
-- Jane, California
Senator McCain transcends party ideology and selfish party discipline. His driving force is the unwavering faith that he has in the true values of American democracy. Straightforward speaking, ready to take coordinated action, showing respect towards his opponents, able to admit his mistakes, and selfless – these are the qualities that McCain possesses, and they make him a leader who has and will influence many generations of people not only in America, but all around the world. Sometimes it can seem that people of such magnitude only exist in history books, but Senator McCain is here and now. He has taught and inspired and he will keep teaching and inspiring. America can be proud to have a son like Senator McCain.
Should there be a Heaven, Senator McCain will not only be there but will be working hard for it's many angels. I have no words to match the love and grief being expressed now for Senator McCain, but I do want to join in with such remembrances. He is a man of my generation. He represents to me the best the Republican party has to offer. I hope he will be a role model for future Republicans. My love to his family who must miss him but did have his love and devotion for many years.
-- Francia, California
There are very few Politicians that I can honestly say I respect. John McCain was one of them. We lost one of the last good people in our Government, and he will be missed. R.I.P. John McCain.
-- Josh, Kentucky
God Bless You ! Never see a man like him again !
-- Renee, New Jersey
He was really awesome human being We will miss you Mr McCain ?may you Rest In Peace with no more pain
-- Ana, California
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
We lost to the best american, friend of all. Rest in peace dear Senator McCain
-- Arturo, Florida
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
The very definition of HERO. Thank you for giving yourself to us.
-- Betty, Illinois
Honorable Senator John McCain returning home from prisoner of war status is the first memory I have of this inspiring defender of The United States of America. Since that time, he has persevered in putting country above party. Character -driven leadership is his greatest legacy. May the current and next generation of leaders follow in his path. Thank you for your gallant service dear patriot.
-- FRANCES, Arizona
What I remember most is attending the Arizona Women's Conferences sponsored by Senator McCain. He brought in keynote speakers and wonderful workshops that provided women a place to network as well as gain knowledge. He was a great senator and Arizona was lucky to have him. He brought integrity, humor, dedication, and the willingness to work across the aisle to Washington. Thank you to the McCain family for sharing him with us all. May God bless him and you.
-- Mary, Florida
Thank you Senator.
-- Joe, Pennsylvania
Thanks You John for your service. Rest assured you will be missed. My condolences to your family.
-- Jeff, Missouri
Mrs. McCain, I am so sorry for your loss. I was fortunate to have met Senator McCain in March of 2017 on a flight from Brussels to DC. Senator McCain took the time to speak with me and I greatly appreciate it. We spoke about Israel, and the importance of public service. He commented on the fact that two of his favorite places in the world were Jerusalem and Istanbul. I have a great admiration for his courage and willpower to fight for what he believed in until the very end. I only spoke with him for five minutes but those five minutes have made me proud of my Americorps service and in pursuing my MSW. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. The world truly lost an incredible individual. He will forever be missed. Sincerely, Miriam Goldstein
-- Miriam, Maryland
You will always be remembered as a person for the people. Thank you
-- DOROTHY, Pennsylvania
EL MUNDO HA PERDIDO A UN HEROE, UN EJEMPLO PARA TODOS. UN LUCHADOR. DESDE ESPAÑA MI MAS SENTIDO PESAME A LA FAMILIA, AMIGOS Y AL PUEBLO AMERICANO. DESCANSE EN PAZ
-- JUAN JOSE, Spain
A courageous, and humble person who really loved his nation and state.
-- Jose, Arizona
An Honorable man, an American Patriot devoted to what is right for America. You will be missed.
-- Nancy Morton, North Carolina
We will keep you in are hearts for the rest of our lives
-- John, Oregon
I lost my big role model!
-- Chris, Germany
Not just a geat American, but a grand human being.
-- Shelly, Texas
I wore a POW bracelet with his name on it for years in HS and college. Politically our views differed, however he always had my respect. His motives were for the country and the country is better for his service. He leaves a great legacy and though your hearts are broken, your pride in him will be with you always
-- JoAnne, Arizona
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