McCain’s Short Biography

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John McCain

John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is an American politician who currently serves as the senior United States Senator from Arizona, in that office since 1987. He was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While McCain was on a bombing mission over Hanoi in October 1967, he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during war have left him with lifelong physical disabilities.

He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986 and easily won re-election five times, most recently in 2016.