McCain, John Sidney, 3d

McCain, John Sidney, 3d,

1936–, U.S. politician, b. Panama Canal Zone. A much decorated navy veteran, he was born into a career naval family and attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1958. He became a pilot and during the Vietnam WarVietnam War,
conflict in Southeast Asia, primarily fought in South Vietnam between government forces aided by the United States and guerrilla forces aided by North Vietnam. The war began soon after the Geneva Conference provisionally divided (1954) Vietnam at 17° N lat.
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 was shot down over Hanoi (1967) and captured; he was released in 1973. Retiring as a highly decorated captain in 1981, he was elected (1982) as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona and served two terms. In 1986 he first won election to the U.S. Senate. A personally appealing leader with generally conservative views, he is noted for his bluff honesty, quick wit, and outspoken manner. McCain has been particularly active in attempting to forge a bipartisan coalition for campaign-finance reform and, in 2005, for banning cruel and inhuman treatment of any prisoner in U.S. custody. He has chaired the Senate committee on Indian affairs (1995–97, 2005–7), on commerce, science, and transportation (1995–2001, 2003–5), and on armed services (2015–). McCain was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, losing in the primaries to George W. BushBush, George Walker,
1946–, 43d President of the United States (2001–9), b. New Haven, Conn. The eldest son of President George H. W. Bush, he was was raised in Texas and, like his father, attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale, graduating in 1968.
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. In 2007–8, however, he mounted a successful campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. He chose the conservative Alaskan Gov. Sarah PalinPalin, Sarah Heath
, 1964–, U.S. politician, b. Sandpoint, Idaho, as Sarah Louise Heath, grad. Univ. of Idaho (B.S. 1987). Her family moved to Alaska not long after she was born.
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 as his running mate, but they lost to Democrats Barack ObamaObama, Barack
(Barack Hussein Obama 2d), , 1961–, 44th president of the United States (2009–17), b. Honolulu, grad. Columbia (B.A. 1983), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1991).
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 and Joe BidenBiden, Joseph Robinette, Jr.
, 1942–, Vice President of the United States (2009–17), b. Scranton, Pa. A lawyer and Democrat, he was elected to the U.S. Senate from Delaware, where his family had moved when he was young, in 1972, and was reelected six times, retiring
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. McCain has written several books on history's great leaders, e.g., Hard Call (2007).

Bibliography

See his memoirs, Faith of My Fathers (2000) and Worth the Fighting For (2002); E. Drew, Citizen McCain (2002); P. Alexander, Man of the People (2002).