- NAME: John McCain
- OCCUPATION: Military Leader, U.S. Representative
- BIRTH DATE: August 29, 1936 (Age: 76)
- EDUCATION: Episcopal High School, United States Naval Academy
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Coco Solo Naval Air Station, Panama Canal Zone
- Full Name: John Sidney McCain III
- AKA: John McCain
- AKA: John Sidney McCain
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
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John McCain is a military hero and Republican U.S. Senator defeated by Barack Obama in the 2008 United States presidential election.
John McCain - Full Biography (43:23)
Before leaving to serve his country, John McCain was what many called a "party boy," and not the tough-as-nails hero he would be labeled later in life.
In 2008, then Presidential hopeful John McCain nominated Sarah Palin to be his running mate in his Presidential campaign.
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John McCain was born at the Coco Solo Naval Station in Panama on August 29, 1936. The son of an Admiral, McCain enrolled in the Naval Academy and was dispatched to Vietnam, where he was tortured as a prisoner of war between 1967 and 1973. After his release, McCain served as a Republican congressman and senator from the state of Arizona. McCain lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama.
John Sidney McCain III was born on August 29, 1936, at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone (U.S. territory at the time), the second of three children born to naval officer John S. McCain Jr. and his wife, Roberta. At the time of John III's birth, the McCain family was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, under American control.
Both McCain's father and paternal grandfather, John Sidney McCain Sr., were four-star admirals. John S. McCain Jr. rose to command all U.S. naval forces in the Pacific.
McCain spent his childhood and adolescent years moving between naval bases in America and abroad. He attended Episcopal High School, a private preparatory boarding school in Alexandria, Virginia, graduating in 1954.
Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, McCain graduated (fifth from the bottom of his class) from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1958. He also graduated from flight school in 1960.
With the outbreak of the Vietnam War, McCain volunteered for combat duty and began flying carrier-based attack planes on low-altitude bombing runs against the North Vietnamese. He escaped serious injury on July 29, 1967, when his A-4 Skyhawk plane was accidentally shot by a missile on board the USS Forestal, causing explosions and fires that killed 134.
On October 26, 1967, during his 23rd air mission, McCain's plane was shot down during a bombing run over the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. He broke both arms and one leg during the ensuing crash. McCain was moved to Hoa Loa prison, nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton," on December 9, 1969.
His captors soon learned he was the son of a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy and repeatedly offered him early release, but McCain refused, not wanting to violate the military code of conduct and knowing that the North Vietnamese would use his release as a powerful piece of propaganda.
McCain eventually spent five and a half years in various prison camps, three and a half of those in solitary confinement, and was repeatedly beaten and tortured before he was finally released, along with other American POWs, on March 14, 1973, less than two months after the Vietnam cease fire went into effect. McCain earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Though McCain had lost most of his physical strength and flexibility, he was determined to continue serving as a naval aviator. After a painful nine months of rehabilitation, he returned to flying duty, but it soon became clear that his injuries had permanently impaired his ability to advance in the Navy.
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