February 7, 1912
Muskogee, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||October 12, 2020 108) (aged|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
(m. 1933;died 1981)
|Children||3; including John and Joe|
|Relatives|| Meghan McCain (granddaughter)|
Bert Andrews (brother-in-law)
Roberta Wright McCain (February 7, 1912 – October 12, 2020) was an American socialite and oil heiress. She was the wife of Admiral John S. McCain Jr., with whom she had three children including politician John S. McCain III and stage actor and journalist Joe McCain. McCain was active in the Navy Wives Clubs and her Capitol Hill home was a popular salon for lawmakers and politicians. In 2007 and 2008, she actively campaigned in support of her son John during his presidential bid.
Roberta Wright and her identical twin sister Rowena Fay (1912–2011) were born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on February 7, 1912. She had three additional siblings: Archibald Kidwell Wright (1902–1976), Martha Nadine Wright (1903–1979) (married to Bert Andrews) and Alexander Franklin Wright (1908–1956).Their parents were Archibald Grahee Wright (1874–1971), a Los Angeles oil wildcatter, and Myrtle Mae Wright (née Fletcher) (1885–1972). Her father became a stay-at-home dad after gaining wealth from the oil industry and the family traveled constantly, with trips every summer during August. They settled in Los Angeles and she was primarily raised there.
On January 21, 1933, Wright eloped in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, with John S. McCain Jr., a U.S. naval ensign who would later become a four-star Admiral. At the time, Wright was attending the University of Southern California and McCain was attached to USS Oklahoma (BB-37).
In 1952, Roberta McCain was the ship sponsor for USS John S. McCain (DL-3), named for her father-in-law. She was also an honored guest at the 1992 launching of USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) which was named for her husband and her father-in-law. She was also active in Navy Wives Clubs. For example, during Christmas 1971, she traveled to Saigon and presented $1,000 ($6,390 today) and 14 boxes of clothing to the Vietnam Advisory Board of Operation Helping Hand on behalf of the Pearl Harbor area Navy Wives Clubs.
McCain gave birth to three children, one daughter and two sons: Jean Alexandra "Sandy" (McCain) Morgan (1934–2019),John Sidney McCain III (1936–2018), and Joseph Pinckney "Joe" McCain II (born 1942). She also had 12 grandchildren (one of whom is Meghan McCain), 16 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. The McCain family was Episcopalian and Roberta McCain said faith is important for her family. She sent her son, John McCain, to an Episcopalian high school, and kept his prayer book. She raised her children while living in Capitol Hill. McCain was a successful socialite who used her home as a salon for lawmakers, which helped her husband's military career. She hosted breakfasts for politicians and other prominent figures. She was friends with many public figures including British military officer Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, oil industrialist J. Paul Getty, and writer and ambassador Clare Boothe Luce.
After John S. McCain III was taken prisoner during the Vietnam War, John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta McCain awaited his release at Pearl Harbor. On November 1, 1967, Roberta McCain wrote to President Lyndon B. Johnson, expressing her support of his policies in Vietnam as a "parent of a son who was shot down in Hanoi, last week, and is now a prisoner-of-war ..." In June 1968, Roberta McCain told Parade magazine, "Religion has been of great importance to us in our concern for Johnny, religion and the military tradition of my husband's family. We all pray for the time when we'll see Johnny again."
In 1971, McCain requested no special sympathy in regard to her son's captivity. She stated that Navy tradition was important in the family; her daughter married a naval officer, John S. McCain III became a naval aviator, and her younger son Joe enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam War.John S. McCain III was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five-and-a-half years. When notified upon his release on March 15, 1973, that he had shouted expletives at his captors, Roberta McCain's response was, "Johnny, I'm going to come over there and wash your mouth out with soap."
John S. McCain III said this of his mother: "My mother was raised to be a strong, determined woman who thoroughly enjoyed life, and always tried to make the most of her opportunities. She was encouraged to accept, graciously and with good humor, the responsibilities and sacrifices her choices have required of her. I am grateful to her for the strengths she taught me by example."
McCain campaigned during her son's 2008 presidential bid, and was active in 2007and 2008 despite her advanced age. In November 2007, her comments during an MSNBC interview about Mitt Romney, his role in organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics, and his Mormonism generated minor political controversy and forced her son to respond to clarify her remarks. In August 2008, she had a fashion shoot and was featured in a pair of Vogue magazine articles. On May 13, 2009, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno . McCain's comments about Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann created a stir with politicos on both sides even after her son's failed presidential bid.
McCain's life of traveling with family, specifically her twin sister, was noted by Maureen Orth in The New York Times in December 2007.On October 22, 2009, she was hospitalized while traveling in Portugal after she fell and injured her head.
For her 100th birthday in 2012, she had a small party at the Capitol Hill Club.A few weeks after her 100th birthday, McCain suffered a mild stroke. McCain's centenary was noted in a number of periodicals in the United States, including an article by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ken Herman. She was featured in Town & Country magazine later that year.
In September 2013, television commentator Greta Van Susteren wrote about McCain in an essay that was featured by Politico during their "Women Rule" series.In September 2013, McCain and her parlor were featured in an article in the peer-reviewed academic journal, the Journal of Urban History .
On the occasion of her 106th birthday in February 2018, members of McCain's family took to social media to express birthday wishes and share memories of McCain over the years.McCain accompanied other members of the McCain family in June 2018 for the Washington, D.C. screening of the documentary John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls. Before her son John's death in August 2018, she attended a Capitol Hill event where politicians commemorated the Senator as a living requiem. After her son's death, she attended the ceremony that marked the arrival of his remains to lie in state in the United States Capitol rotunda and attended the funeral at the Washington National Cathedral, where eulogies were given by former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, among others.
McCain died on October 12, 2020, at the age of 108 at her home in Washington, D.C.A funeral service was held for her on November 7, 2020, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland. At the time of her death, her son Joe was the only one of her children still living; her daughter Jean McCain Morgan had died of mesothelioma the previous November, aged 85. She was buried next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.
John Sidney McCain III was an American politician, statesman and United States Navy officer who served as a United States Senator for Arizona from 1987 until his death in 2018. He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for president of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.
John Sidney "Jack" McCain Jr. was a United States Navy admiral who served in conflicts from the 1940s through the 1970s, including as the Commander, United States Pacific Command.
USS John S. McCain (DL-3/DDG-36), originally designated DD-928 but reclassified in 1951 as a Destroyer Leader, was the second Mitscher-class destroyer in the United States Navy. The ship was launched by Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine, on 12 July 1952. She was sponsored by Roberta McCain, the daughter-in-law of Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., and commissioned on 12 October 1953 at the Boston Naval Shipyard, with Commander E. R. King, USN, in command.
USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer currently in the service of the United States Navy. She is part of the Destroyer Squadron 15 within the Seventh Fleet, and has her homeport at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.
Amy Jean Klobuchar is an American lawyer and politician serving as the senior United States senator from Minnesota, a seat she has held since 2007. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), Minnesota's affiliate of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the Hennepin County attorney.
Cindy Lee Miller Sheehan is an American anti-war activist, whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed by enemy action during the Iraq War. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for her extended antiwar protest at a makeshift camp outside President George W. Bush's Texas ranch—a stand that drew both passionate support and criticism. Sheehan ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008. She was a vocal critic of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. Her memoir, Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism, was published in 2006. In an interview with The Daily Beast in 2017, Sheehan continued to hold her critical views towards George W. Bush, while also criticizing the militarism of Donald Trump.
Cindy Lou McCain is an American businesswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, special educator, and author. She is the widow of United States Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain from Arizona and the mother of television host and author Meghan McCain.
Martha Elizabeth McSally is an American politician and former military pilot who served as a United States Senator for Arizona from 2019 to 2020. A member of the Republican Party, she previously served as the U.S. Representative for Arizona's 2nd congressional district from 2015 to 2019. McSally served in the United States Air Force from 1988 to 2010, achieving the rank of Colonel. She is the first U.S. woman to fly in combat and also the first to command a fighter squadron.
John Sidney "Slew" McCain was a U.S. Navy admiral and the patriarch of the McCain military family. He held several command assignments during the Pacific campaign of World War II. McCain was a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations. Serving in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II, in 1942 he commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign, and in 1944–45 he aggressively led the Fast Carrier Task Force. His operations off the Philippines and Okinawa and air strikes against Formosa and the Japanese home islands caused tremendous destruction of Japanese naval and air forces in the closing period of the war. He died four days after the formal Japanese surrender ceremony.
Faith of My Fathers is a 1999 bestselling non-fiction book by United States Senator John McCain with Mark Salter. Published by Random House, it is part autobiography, part family memoir. It traces the story of McCain's life growing up, during his time in the United States Naval Academy, and his military service as a naval aviator before and during the Vietnam War. His story is interwoven with those of his father John S. "Jack" McCain, Jr. and his grandfather John S. "Slew" McCain, Sr., both four-star admirals in the Navy.
The early life and military career of John Sidney McCain III spans the first forty-five years of his life (1936–1981). McCain's father and grandfather were admirals in the United States Navy. McCain was born on August 29, 1936, in the Panama Canal Zone, and attended many schools growing up as his family moved among naval facilities. McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958. He married the former Carol Shepp in 1965; he adopted two children from her previous marriage and they had another child together.
Senator John McCain's personal character has dominated the image and perception of him. His family's military heritage, his rebellious nature as a youth, his endurance over his treatment as a prisoner of war, his resulting physical limitations, his political persona, his well-known temper, his admitted propensity for controversial or ill-advised remarks, and his devotion to maintaining his large blended family have all defined his place in the American political world more than any ideological or partisan framing.
Meghan Marguerite McCain is an American television personality, conservative columnist, and author. She has worked for ABC News, Fox News, and MSNBC. The daughter of politician John McCain and businesswoman Cindy McCain, she has been a public figure for much of her life, first appearing at the 1996 Republican National Convention.
Joseph Pinckney McCain II is an American stage actor, newspaper reporter, and the brother of the late U.S. Senator and two-time presidential candidate John McCain.
Carol Shepp McCain is a former political aide and event planner who was director of the White House Visitors Office during the Reagan administration. She was the first wife of United States Senator John McCain.
Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin is an American public speaker, reality television personality, and real estate agent. She is the oldest daughter and second of five children of Todd and Sarah Palin.
Douglas Anthony Ducey Jr. is an American businessman and politician serving as the 23rd and current governor of Arizona since 2015. He previously was the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, a chain of ice cream parlors based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Kelli Ward is an American osteopathic physician and politician who has served as the Chair of the Arizona Republican Party since 2019. She served in the Arizona State Senate from 2012 to 2015.
Mackenzie Frances Ziegler is an American singer, dancer and actress. She first gained notice as a child while appearing for six years on the Lifetime reality dance series Dance Moms together with her older sister, dancer and actress Maddie Ziegler.
The 2020 United States Senate special election in Arizona was held on November 3, 2020. Following the death in office of incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John McCain on August 25, 2018, Governor Doug Ducey was required by Arizona law to appoint a Republican to fill the vacant seat through the end of the term expiring in January 2023. On September 5, 2018, Ducey appointed former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl to fill McCain's seat. However, Kyl announced he would resign on December 31, 2018.