John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was a politician and naval officer, who spent over 30 years serving in the U.S. Senate for the state of Arizona.
He was a 1954 graduate of Episcopal High School, in Alexandria, VA. McCain’s senior yearbook describes him as “infamous as one of our top-flight wrestlers.” While a student at Episcopal, he also participated in football, drama, and yearbook staff, among other activities.
McCain went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958, becoming a naval aviator and a pilot. While flying in the Vietnam War in 1967, he was shot down and captured. He remained a P.O.W. until his eventual release in 1973. Among other military honors, he received a Silver Star and a Purple Heart.
After retiring from the Navy in 1981 and moving to Arizona, McCain turned his sights to politics. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and first became a U.S. Senator in 1986 (a position for which he was re-elected five times). McCain ran for President twice — in 2000 and 2008 — and became the Republican nominee in 2008. In 2015, he became the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
McCain remained a member of the Senate until his untimely death from a brain tumor on August 25, 2018. His political legacy is that of a conservative “maverick” who was not afraid to reach across the aisle and who placed country above party.