John McCain was one of the most respected politicians in modern American history. As well as a successful career in the Senate, McCain served in the US military and made several attempts to become the President of the United States.
Let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts about John McCain.
John McCain Facts
1. John McCain was born in 1936
John McCain was born on August 29, 1936, at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, an interesting fact about John McCain. His father, John McCain Sr was a well-respected naval officer and his mother was Roberta McCain. McCain spent his early years on the military base and had two siblings, an older sister named Sandy and an older brother named Joe.
2. McCain lost to Barrack Obama in the 2008 US Presidential Election
In 2007, John McCain announced his intention to run as the Republican nominee in the 2008 US Presidential Election.
After a tough campaign, John McCain defeated Mitt Romney, the final remaining candidate, in March and became the presumptive nominee for the 2008 Election.
John McCain’s opponent for that election was to be Barrack Obama. The polls between the two men were close in the early goings. McCain shocked the world when he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate and this was a move that proved to be very divisive.
In the end, Barrack Obama won the election fairly comfortably, picking up 365 electoral votes in comparison to John Mccain’s 173.
3. He attempted to run as the Republican nominee in 2000
At the end of 1999, John McCain announced his intention to become the Republican candidate for the 2000 US Presidental Election.
McCain’s biggest challenger came in the form of George W.Bush, who was at the time, the governor of Texas.
An interesting fact about John McCain is that the battle between the two men was seen as a tough one and many believed that they both represented different elements of the Republican party.
An anonymous smear campaign was started against McCain during the period and it caused a lot of damage, including the loss of a key vote in South Carolina. McCain never recovered from this and he would eventually step down in mid-February and endorse George Bush a few months later.
4. McCain was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam
On October 26th, 1987, John McCain was fighting in the Vietnam war when his aircraft was shot down. He was then captured by North Vietnamese forces and kept as a prisoner of war in Hanoi.
McClain is said to have been treated very badly during this time but it is also said that he refused to give up any information. His captors only agreed to allow him medical treatment when they found out his father was in such a powerful position within the US military.
5. John McCain’s Father and Grandfather were both famous in the military
The military was in John McClain’s blood. He was born on a naval base and both he and his brother would go on to serve in the US military.
An interesting fact about John McCain is that his father and his grandfather were also both well-respected fighters and they hold a very distinctive and proud record – they are the only father and son combo to have held the position of a four-star admiral in the US navy. This would have no doubt been a great source of pride and inspiration for McCain growing up.
6. McCain married twice and had several children
John McCain married for the first time in 1965. His first wife was a model named Carol Shepp. Shepp had two children from a previous marriage who McCain would adopt as his own and would then have their own child, a daughter called Sidney.
The couple would divorce in 1980 and McCain would then marry Cindy Hensley, who was with until his death in 2018. The couple had three children called Meghan, Jack and Jimmy and would later adopt a fourth, Bridget.
7. He is seen as one of the most influential US political figures of the late 19th century
Despite having never been elected to the Presidency in the United States, John McCain is still considered one of the most important political figures of recent times. His influence in the senate was undeniable and he was seen as a strong representative of good American values thanks to his work in the military.
McCain’s influence was recognized in 1997 by Time Magazine when they announced him as one of the top 25 most influential Americans in the world.
8. McCain had a long and successful military career
John McCain followed in his family footsteps and joined the United States Naval Academy. During this time he developed a reputation as a bit of a loose cannon and was seen as somewhat of a rebel in his early days in the army. He was also an amateur boxer and coach and earned himself plaudits for standing up to bullies. He would eventually finish 894th out of 899 students.
He would, however, go on to fight in the military and most notably fought bravely in the Vietnam War. He would eventually retire from the Navy in 1981, having ascended to the rank of captain.
9. John McCain began his political career in 1981
After retiring from the Navy, John McCain would go on to begin his career in politics. He would quickly win an election to become a representative and would establish himself as a hot young prospect in the Republican party, an interesting John McCain fact.
In 1987, he was elected to the US Senate for the first time. He would serve in the senate a total of six times during what was a very well-respected political career.
10. He died in 2018
John McCain was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017 at the age of 80. He continued to serve as a member of the Senate in his final year of life and his family announced he would stop receiving surgery for his cancer on August 24th 2018.
Just 24 hours later, John McCain passed away. McCain lay in state in Phoenix, Arizona. His funeral was broadcast on TV and he received two beautiful eulogies from former US Presidents, Barrack Obama and George W Bush, both of whom had run against McCain during his lifetime and had great respect for him as both a politician and a person.
Regardless of party lines, it is difficult to deny that John McCain wasn’t one of the most important and well-respected politicians of recent decades.
His legacy will be remembered as one of honour and he is seen as one of the finest statesmen of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
I hope that this article on John McCain facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Historical People Facts Page!