Skip to main content

The Story of Senator
John McCain

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla purus nulla, tristique ac aliquet eu, bibendum sit amet purus. Vestibulum at lorem eget mauris pharetra placerat quis nec magna.

A Legacy Of Duty

Senator John Sidney McCain was born into a family defined by its military service and patriotism. The son and grandson to four-star admirals, he was called to duty from birth. The Senator joined the United States Naval Academy Class of 1958, like his father and grandfather before him.

The Maverick Emerges

Following his time at the Naval Academy, Sen. McCain trained to become a naval aviator. While on a mission in North Vietnam, his aircraft was struck down and he was taken as a prisoner of war at the infamous Hanoi Hotel. It was in those five years as a POW, the Senator established his own legacy of character-driven leadership, refusing to be released earlier than his fellow prisoners. Surviving years of torture, McCain remained committed to his sworn obligations to his country, command and fellow prisoners. It was in this time, he would later accredit to his love of country, stating “it wasn’t until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her.”

Finding a Home in Arizona

Returning home from Vietnam, the Senator became the Navy’s liaison to the United States Senate. While in the role, the Senator met Cindy Hensley. Following the end of his first marriage, the two married and settled down in Cindy’s home of Phoenix, Arizona. There, McCain launched his candidacy for Congress and, despite unfavorable odds, won. With Cindy by his side, the Senator was now entering a new arena.

Becoming a Statesman

The Senator’s core values defined his four-decade career on Capitol Hill. From the start, Sen. McCain established a voting record punctuated with dissension, famously voting against party-held platforms throughout his career. From his first vote to his last, the Senator always voted in alignment with his principles and morals, famously forgoing what was popular for what was right.

The Conscience of the Senate

Propelled by the 2008 presidential campaign, conservative politics began to shift dramatically. But the Senator held strong to his values, furthering his image as a statesman of principles and values. In the face of increasingly divisive political rhetoric, the Senator made headlines speaking in defense of political opponents and against powerful voices in his own party. In his final years, the Senator worked to instill ideals of democracy and diplomacy in American leadership and promoted their guardianship among its citizens.

Championing His Causes

Cindy McCain, the McCain family and the Senator’s trusted friends, continue Sen. McCain’s mission through the Institute. Every day, the Institute works to empower and develop character-driven leaders to uphold the same values of the Senator. Inspired by his convictions, we pursue action in the arena, despite the odds and opposition, for causes and values greater than ourselves. Each program, initiative, and event is a reverberation of his leadership, his values and his service.