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.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND WHAT YOU STOOD FOR. AND THANK YOU FOR DOING WHAT IS RIGHT. I AM PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY. YOU WILL BE GREATLY MISS. I AM A DEMCRAT AND IWILL MISS YOU
-- PEGGY, Michigan
John McCain was a mentor to all of us. I extend my deepest sympathy to his Family.
-- Deena, Massachusetts
I am a Viet Nam veteran and a Republican. I have always held John McCain in the highest regard. I watched the return of the POWs and cried as they exited the plane. God Bless John McCain
-- Lamar, Georgia
I’m a simple person with a simple life but John touched my life in many ways. I am truly sad to have a survivor like John pass and wish his family , friends and well wishers my condolences. He percervied during his extraordinary life of trials and public service. While not everyone would agree with the path and conviction that his life took him, he stayed true to it. That alone sets him apart from the masses. God bless him and his family as they walk this new path. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, even though I don’t know any of you.
-- Theresa, New York
Dear John Families, I really sorry to hear that he is now in heaven. He was the most greatest braver and peacemaker in the world. I am sure we can meet and see each other sin the heaven later. I like to pray for him and all families. Dear God bless him and his lovely families as well as Americans. Sincerely Gerald Lee
-- Gyeryoung Gerald, South Korea
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
We have lost the most consequential legislator on planet Earth. John McCain served as our very best ambassador for American values. The world is a better and more secure place because of John McCain. Sen. McCain’s legacy is that of a selfless public servant who jealously guarded and advanced American values wherever and whenever they were under threat. He was a role model for all of us in putting country ahead of personal interest. I will remember fondly the time I was fortunate to spend with him. His wisdom, his commitment to service, and his love of country were an inspiration. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for all of his contributions to Arizona, the nation, and the world, and we extend our deepest condolences to Cindy and his family.
-- Glenn, Arizona
We fly our flag at half staff on our porch in his Honor. As a man of honor, a War Hero and a patriot, he treated people with dignity which is sorely missing these days. Senator McCain will Always be remembered. What a Contrast from Mr. Trump who will NEVER be Remembered. We love you and will miss you forever. Senator McCain was a HERO. Bless the McCain family.
-- sheldon, New York
A TRUE hero, may he Rest In Peace.
-- Thomas, Virginia
Senator John McCain represented the values and character that strengthened the very foundation of our democracy. Judy and I , are joined by are entire family in sending our sympathy and love. I willl never forget campaigning with the Senatorhis unswerving path of love for America,enduring optimism,and unfailing,though occasionally biting humor. How blessed to have known him and have him put “my friend” befor my name.
-- Lew and Judy, Florida
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
We were very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of John McCain's courage, patriotism, and principled politics. May God bless John McCain and his family.
-- Robert, Maryland
I was lucky enough to meet him briefly on a political science field-trip to Washington D.C. He was friendly and not what I would have pictured as a political figure which seemed at odd with the busy political culture and life in the capitol. It was great to see someone so down-to-earth and not too busy to say hello and greet some college students from Bellevue, Washington.
-- Barbara, Washington
John McCain was a Wonderful Statesman for our country. My husband Barry Starr always had the greatest respect for him. His heart was always in the right place, he was professional, courageous and we are lucky to have had him representing us through the many years. I wish Peace and Wonderful Memories for his family, loved ones and friends.
-- Gayle, Arizona
He did a great job and will be missed. My prayers and thoughts for the McCain family.
-- Maria, Delaware
Senator McCain, with Don Imus, was completely responsible for increasing the life insurance of fallen soldiers. He truely cared about those in the military and was a voice for their welfare. God Bless Senator McCain and thank you for all you have done for the USA.
-- Anne, Michigan
Senator John McCain rest in peace you are truly missed God bless and may he cradle you in his arms
-- Kevin Michael, Arizona
A TRUE AMERICAN HERO AND A TRUE PUBLIC SERVANT MAY HIS MEMORY BE A BLESSING B'SHALOM
-- RICHARD, Massachusetts
While I was a POW in several prisons in Hanoi, John McCain was an inspiration for me to make it "one more day." It was a distinct honor to help in his 2008 Presidential Campaign. He would have been a terrific President! GBU JSM
-- Tom, South Carolina
Senator McCain was a HERO and a great person. I never met him but, you do not have too to know that he was a good person. Rest is Peace Sir.
-- ALLAN, California
-- michael, Georgia
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
To the family: I am sorry for your loss. I watched Senator McCain on television as he fought for and stood for his beliefs. God be with the family in their time of bereavement.
-- Jacqueline, Virginia
True Hero of or times.
-- SANJEEV, India
Home is the sailor, home from the sea. Home is the hunter, home from the hill
-- Gert, Netherlands
Thank you for standing up for a free press and the First Amendment. And being honest about mistakes you made in life. We all have made some. It's called being human. You will be sorely missed!
-- Kerry, Arizona
Dear Family: With all his many impressive accomplishments I always looked at him with pride . I was pleased to have been a classmate in USNA-58 with him for a while. He was a great man. The country will miss him.
-- Rich, Wisconsin
I have just would love to think and remember John McCain for the great and wonderful things of his earth life. For one for his Navy service and serving this great republic. His pain and suffering for this country will be remembered. He also served this county in the Senate even though he could have retired long ago he continued to serve the USA through pain, illness, hardships, and old age. I will keep John McCain and his family in my thoughts and prayers. God bless the former senator and his family!
-- Daniel, Missouri
We shall remember Captain John McCain, USN (Ret.) as a magnificent patriot. Bless him and all in his family.
-- Robert, Washington
I voted for John McCain. He would have been a great president! However, he was a great senator and patriot!
-- Dean, Colorado
May God Bless The McCain family.
-- Antonio, Delaware
Senator McCain never lost his sense of humor, even when things weren't going well. In the summer of 2007, with his presidential campaign flat broke and in shambles, he came to Des Moines to try to stem volunteer defections to other campaigns. I was one of those volunteers. During a quiet moment, I was talking to my nephew Scott on my cell phone and on a whim, asked the Senator if he'd like to speak to an undecided Iowa voter. With a look of glee on his face, McCain said "Give me your phone. What's his name?" I told him, he grabbed my phone and without missing a beat, said "Scott, this is John McCain. Vote for me, or tomorrow morning you're going to find your car up on cement blocks!" What a great and good-natured man. I will miss him.
-- Jim, Iowa
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
Senator McCain was an honest, honorable man who served his country well in war and peace. He set an example that should be seen as a standard for others.
-- Harry, Ohio
He was really awesome human being We will miss you Mr McCain ?may you Rest In Peace with no more pain
-- Ana, California
John once said that his life was changed when he realized that he had been put on this earth for something more than his own amusement. I read these words and they transformed my attitude about my purpose on earth. I am most grateful to him for helping me see this.
-- John, Florida
I enjoyed campaiging for John, at his office. He was a wonderful person. The staff was great there was always, an aboundance of food and treats, for the volunteers! You would never go hungry in his office. My deepest sympathy to his whole family.
-- Marie, Arizona
Well, I didn't know Senator McCain personally, but when I heard about his cancer diagnosis, I started to pray and didn't stop. You, see I lost my mother Hallie Lousie Williams, last year 7/17/2017 to the same type of cancer. I was hoping the Maverick had one last trick up his sleeve. He will be missed!
-- Angela, Illinois
A true hero and patriot. We thank him for his service, love and courage for our Country. He was always there with sincere help when called upon. Our condolences go out to his family during this time. God bless him and may he Rest In Peace with Our Lord.
-- Sandra, Arizona
Our family was supportive of Senator McCain for president. We were blessed to meet him in Howell, MI. During his run for Presidency. He shook hands and hugged my father a WW11 vet. My father passed in January 2016. Senator McCain thank you for your service and your love of America!?? God Bless.
-- NANCY, Michigan
Thank you for your service John.
-- j, Minnesota
I am a WA State democrat and my heart aches for this country's loss. John McCain set an example for each of us - to be true to yourself while respecting and honoring others as well. God bless him and his family.
-- Cindy, Washington
In 2010, my father, an Air Force veteran of the Korean War needed assisted living care. I learned about the aid and attendance benefit offered by the VA. The paperwork to apply was quite difficult. However, once we completed it and submitted it, I contacted Senator McCain to see if he could assist in expediting the processing of my father's application. Senator McCain did, and my father's application was soon thereafter approved. My eternal thanks are with Senator McCain. He did so much for so many, and his service will never be forgotten.
-- Chip, Arizona
I remember seeing Senator McCain during the 2008 campaign defend President Obama from the accusation that he was an Arab. He said the President was an American citizen. I also remember seeing the dramatic vote on the Senate floor when John cast the deciding vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. I saw him many times on television and he was straightforward and direct in many of his answers to questions whether they were good or bad ones. He will be deeply missed in the US Senate at a time when it could use the voice of a man with the courage of his convictions.
-- Christopher, Maryland
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
Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Sen McCain was one of those rare individuals who possessed both courage and honor. Rare qualities on their own but even more extraordinary when combined. All of our lives have been enriched by his service. My father was seriously hurt in Korea. losing his right leg, right hand and the sight in both eyes. But he married a beautiful woman, raised four children and ran his own business for 20 years. I always looked up to and was inspired by my father for overcoming his disabilities. I looked up to Sen McCain in the same way.I Have been a life long democrat, but if I lived in Arizona I would have returned John McCain to the Senate over and over again. John McCain was a true American Hero. Thank you for your service doesn't begin to express the gratitude he deserves.
-- Timothy, New York
Senator John McCain I want to thank you for your heroic service to our Great country. My political viewpoints may differ than yours but I admire you and truly believe that if there was anyone who can make a difference it was you sir. I hope your examples in life willl continue to inspire people with political differences to have respect and integrity for each other. God bless you
-- Patrick, Florida
The first time I met John and Cindy McCain was in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hills Hilton at a dinner and a reception on that fateful primary night during the 1999-2000 campaign. All I can remember was that genuine smile and his heart filled thanks for our support. Our conversation were spurred by our hopes to create a middle ground that the Republic Party could then build on. Nonetheless, his fight to create bi-partisan unity in the Senate led to another run for the White House. Serving on his Small Business council in Ohio in 2008 I saw the spark for change again and once again felt his desire for a unified party. I was so proud to help John McCain in both California and Ohio. His selflesness and his heart will be missed but we shall carry on his fight for a unified America. God bless
-- Pierre, Ohio
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
John McCain was a true American hero.He did lot's of great things for USA,and for democracy in the world.His leadership will be great example for young generation.He will be remembered as best leader in America,and in the world.
-- Mensur, North Carolina
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