Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma, which is a type of brain tumor, according to CNN. After getting a blood clot removed on Friday at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, results confirmed that McCain has brain cancer. McCain is reported to be recovering well from the surgery, but many wonder how his family is coping with his diagnosis. With seven children and a wife standing behind him, he appears to have a strong support system.
Get to know more about McCain’s family and wife Cindy McCain below.
1. John McCain Was First Married to Carol McCain
Carol Shepp McCain was the first wife of John McCain and she is a former model in addition to being director of the White House Visitors’ Office and an event planner.
When John married Carol, he adopted her sons from a previous marriage– Doug, a pilot for American Airlines, and Andy, an executive at a beer distribution company. Before divorcing in 1981, John and Carol also had a daughter together named Sidney.
2. The Couple Met When John McCain Was Still Married to Ex-Wife Carol
John McCain married Cindy five weeks after his divorce from Carol, who happened to be close friends with the Reagans, was granted. According to the LA Times, the divorce became official on April 2, 1980, and he’d obtained an Arizona marriage license for his wedding to Cindy on March 6, 1980.
The Los Angeles Times reports that in his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For”, McCain addressed the issue directly, and said that he’d separated from Carol before he began dating Cindy. “I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow,” McCain wrote. “I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.”
When journalists at the Los Angeles Times dug deeper, however, they saw this wasn’t the case. According to their research, McCain’s court petition revealed that he and Cindy lived together until January 7, 1980. At that time, he’d been dating for Hensley for nine months.
The outlet writes, “Until McCain filed for divorce, the Reagans and their inner circle assumed he was happily married, and they were stunned to learn otherwise, according to several close aides.”
3. John and Cindy McCain Have Four Children
Together, John and Cindy have four children: Meghan, Jack, and Jimmy. They adopted Bridget from Bangladesh when she was just 3-months-old.
Meghan has been very active in her father’s political campaigns, and currently works as a columnist, Fox news host and contributor, and blogger.
Meghan first rose to prominence with her blog, McCain Blogette, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her father. In 2008, she wrote a children’s book titled My Dad, John McCain, and two years later, she penned another, titled Dirty Sexy Politics.
4. Cindy McCain Previously Battled Prescription Drug Addiction
Cindy has spoken publicly about battling an addiction to prescription painkillers. According to a 2008 Washington Post article, she grew addicted to Vicodin and Percocet in 1989 after undergoing back surgery for ruptured disks. The outlet reports Cindy as saying that she hid the addiction from her husband, and after her parents learned about the addiction in 1992, she stopped abusing drugs.
Speaking to Access Hollywood in 2008, Cindy talked about why she’s willing to discuss her experiences with prescription drugs so openly. “I think it made me a better person as well as a better parent, so I think it would be very important to talk about it and be very upfront about it.”
Cindy also revealed, in an interview with Jay Leno, that she tries to keep an open dialogue about addiction because she doesn’t “want anyone to wind up in the shoes that I did at the time.”
5. She Is the Daughter of Beer Distributor Jim Hensley
Cindy was born in Phoenix in 1954, and was the only child of her parents’ second marriages. Her father, Jim Hensley, was the founder of Hensley & Co., a successful beer distribution company.
After obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s from USC, Cindy worked as a special education teacher.