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.
I became a citizen on this Great Nation over ten years ago. I am leaving the American dream, but this dream will be not possible without true heroes like Senator McCain. Thank you Senator McCain for being a true hero and your service. Thank you for being a great example that I can learn many thing to became myself a better citizen of this great nation. I wish that I could meet you and tell you how much I admired you. God Bless your family and those that serve this country.
-- Carlo, Arizona
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
A real American. One of a kind. So long.
-- Dave, Florida
I'll always remember a great line you gave "The most dangerous place in DC is between Chuck Schumer and a TV Camera". Bless you and your family and thank you.
-- John, California
Senator John McCain is the kind of hero we so needed in today’s political climate. His sense of duty and honor should be the model of today’s youth. My sincere gratitude to his service to our country. He is the model that our young people should strike for nowadays. My sincere condolences to Senator ‘s family.
-- Florence, California
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
Thanks You John for your service. Rest assured you will be missed. My condolences to your family.
-- Jeff, Missouri
Thank you for all your service,I 'm sure this world will never see someone as remarkable as yourself. R.I.P
-- Jane, Arizona
Senator John McCain was an American patriot who served his country with distinction and became a hero to many, including myself, through his selfless actions, placing his country above his personal ambitions . I was proud to have purchased his signed memoir in 2008 and I will treasure it to my dying days and pass it on to future generations. My deep condolences go his family and godspeed John in your new journey.
-- Luis, California
My Naturalized French-American wife and I attended the first Congressional Dinner in Washington D.C. given for President Bush after his election. Even though John McCain had lost the nomination to President Bush, he was there that night to honor the president. He was standing alone and my wife discovered him and had the most delightful conversation with him about the presidency. He did not try to shorten the visit with her, nor fail to understand every word she spoke with him. He was most gracious and at the end had her pose for a picture with him. This did more for my wife then all the citizenship course on America could ever have done. Thank you John for this. All the angels in heaven will note this when you arrive there!
-- Rob (for Honey), Arizona
My prayers to all his family and may he Rest In Peace . It would of been a great privilege to of meet such a man my condolences to all of his loved ones
-- Maria, California
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
During 2000 primary, Sen. McCain gave a speech in Springfield NJ. I was police detective on security detail. He took time after speech to hang out with the cops and autographed his Faith of Our Fathers book for us. Real nice down to earth guy. A real American. Rest in Peace.
-- Judd, New Jersey
You will be missed. Continue to watch over us. Thank you for your service Our American Hero. RIP
-- paula, New York
John McCain was my hero and role model. I want to be like John McCain
-- Hector, Texas
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 Mccain was a true hero and statesman. He will be missed by American citizens. I"m so sorry for your loss.
-- diane, Florida
In awe of his amazing service to this country! Well done. Prayers for comfort and lasting memories of laughter for all.
-- Sonya, Maryland
John McCain was my hero and role model, I served 9 1/2 years in the Submarine Force and 22 yrs. in the Texas Legislature... I modeled my legislative career after him including my engagements with the press.. I was a better officer and legislator because of John McCain. Rest In Peace Steve Ogden ‘73 Non Sibi
-- Steve, Texas
Happy trails good friend till we meet again! Rest well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-- Thomas N, Arizona
A true american he will never be forgotten
-- Deborah, California
Senator, I have been a long time supporter and friend to you as you run for office. I want to thank you for your service to our great nation. Our prayers are with your family. May you rest in peace.
-- Ty, Maryland
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
As just an ordinary citizen I wish to thank his wife Cindy for all the support she gave to over the years to this patriotic man and husband . He will not be forgotten and neither will she . So Thank You Cindy and May God Be with as your new challenges come .
-- Connie, Arizona
He was the best and finest... and a rare thing -- an honest man who led us with decency and with care through tough times. He is already missed, and we can only pray that there is a future John McCain out there who will dedicate their life to doing what he tried to do -- govern with honor and with compromise and compassion and, yes, with Decency. Rest in Peace, John McCain. We were lucky and blessed to have had you serve us all those years. Thank you.
-- Donna and Michael, Arizona
Sen. John McCain taught us what honor, true patriotism and basic human decency look like. He will be missed.
-- Max, Pennsylvania
You were a leader and an inspiration to this country and the people who live here. We need more men like you.
-- Edmund, Oregon
I sorry for you lose , I remember when him go to Colombia
-- daniel, North Carolina
Thank you for your service to the United States of America, Senator John McCain! You have been a shining example to all of a hero, of a public servant, of a humanitarian, of a world leader! You were willing to fight for your country & die for it if needed. You never gave up. You endured torture that would have broken many. Your bravery is that of a super hero! You lived your life with dignity & have earned my respect as well as many throughout the USA & around the world! God bless you & your family! May you rest in peace, dear sir! You deserve it!
-- Wanda, Ohio
The world has lost a great statesman who was respected by people all over the globe. I never met him personally but nevertheless felt inspired by his strong and clear vision about the role of the United States in the global political system.
-- Mike, Germany
I first met Sen. McCain and heard him speak at a Tucson pilot's meeting at Pinal Airport in 1989 or 1990 (not sure exact). Amazing man. Godspeed, Senator.
-- Jeff, Arizona
When my late husband Carlos Apodaca passed Mr McCain was the only one who would listen to me and helped me get his benefits. After 4 years of fighting and getting nowhere he did it in six months. I will forever be grateful to him. You could see he was a kind and loving man who loved his Country and the people. May God rest his soul in peace and keep his family strong. I am sure he left a great legacy behind. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
-- Mary L, Arizona
Senator John McCain was a true American hero. He will live on forever in our hearts and be greatly missed.
-- Ashlee, Kentucky
Thank you for your honorable service Sir. You will be greatly missed.
-- Cathy, California
I have learnt from the life of Senator McCain what distinguishes an outstanding leader: He knows who he is; what he stands for; what he believes in; where he is going; and most of all; he epitomizes character-driven leadership in action. I understood from his life example that 'Leadership is not something we stand for, rather, it is a stand for something'!
-- Karambu, Kenya
"We have to fight. We have to fight against propaganda and crackpot conspiracy theories. We have to fight isolationism, protectionism, and nativism. We have to defeat those who would worsen our divisions. We have to remind our sons and daughters that we became the most powerful nation on Earth by tearing down walls, not building them." America will be poorer for losing the voice of this brave. RIP
-- Michael, Texas
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
Rest well, Mister McCain. You did well in your life.
-- Quan, California
A great American statesman and hero. I have admired him throughout his career. I have retired from the USAF as a Colonel and honor him for the sacrifices he has made for his country.
-- Bruce, Indiana
He was not only a true warrior, but also a friend, He will always be remembered for his leadership.
-- Anthony, Arizona
Sadness on the passing of a true American hero. As a fellow USNA graduate I have always admired him. During his 50th reunion at the Academy (during his Presidential run) he took the time to come and address my class 35th reunion. A class act, he will truly be missed.
-- William, Virginia
We will never forget you, Senator McCain. It’s a heartbreaking day.
-- Kate, Massachusetts
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
I thank you for your service. You are the only politician to whom I’ve contributed campaign funds. Fair Winds and Following Seas.
-- Susan, Ohio
I graduated from the Naval Academy in 1959. I remember meeting him on several Saturdays while marching off conduct violations during our time at the academy. In 1969 I acquired a POW bracelet with John?s name and date of captivity inscribed on it. I wore it until his return to the USA. I am giving the bracelet to my grandson, who as been a loyal fan of John since he was 5 years old. John will always be remembered for his courage and loyalty to the United States of America. May he rest in peace knowing that he has fought for a better world and a great America.
-- Patrick, Arizona
megan McCain sorry about your dad he was the best man and president god will take care of him and rest in heaven thanks lord 2018 by joel mansfield
-- joel, Texas
Man and public servant of great convictions beyond party lines, where only his conscience and the welfare of the American people had space. He fulfilled his mission as he did so many other times, now that The Great Architect of the Universe welcomes him into his kingdom.
-- Francisco, 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
My heart goes out to the family thanks for your service senator McCain our thoughts and prayers gone but never forgotten Rest In Peace.
-- Franklyn, Arizona
John McCain understood better than most what it means to be deprived of liberty. That’s why he became a passionate advocate for the liberty of people everywhere. Humans cannot reach their full potential unless they are free. Nor can America be safe in a world where tyranny is on the march. America’s greatest adversaries during his lifetime, from Imperial Japan to Putin’s Russia, emerged from non-democratic systems in which dictators invaded other nations to stay in power at home. The terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 incubated in the democratic deficits of the greater Middle East. Whether in China or Venezuela, military-ruled Burma or Hun Sen’s Cambodia, McCain took it personally when strongmen abused their citizens’ inherent rights – just as he celebrated democratic revolutions in the former Soviet Empire as victories of human dignity. People everywhere saw the best of America in him; he was the best his country had to offer the world. His spirit lives everywhere men and women are free.
-- Dan, Virginia
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