How Many Children Did John McCain Have?

John McCain Children

Getty Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential nominee, stands on stage with family members during the Republican National Convention 2008 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 04, 2008. From L-R: Andrew, Meghan, Jimmy, Cindy, Jack, Doug, Bridget and Sydney.

After a long battle with brain cancer, Senator John McCain lost his life, leaving behind a family of seven grown children, along with five grandchildren, and his wife, Cindy. In addition to having children with Cindy, John McCain also had kids from his first marriage, to Carol Shepp. When talking about what his kids mean to him, to Dad Mag, McCain said that, “I had three children by a previous marriage. My first wife had two children from a previous marriage and I adopted them. We had a child together, a girl. The two boys are married and have children. We’re all very close. We get together once a year at least.” Fortunately, when McCain passed away, he was surrounded by the family he loved.

Andrew McCain and his brother Doug were adopted by John McCain, when he married his first wife, according to ABC News. John and Carol later welcomed their daughter, Sidney. Prior to marrying John, Carol Shepp was married to a man named Alasdair E. Swanson, who was actually a classmate of John McCain’s. Swanson is the biological father of Andrew and Doug.

In 1980, John McCain divorced Shepp and went on to get married to second wife, Cindy, that same year. Together, John and Cindy had three children – Meghan, Jack (John Sidney McCain IV) and Jimmy. They also adopted a little girl named Bridget, from Bangladesh. Andrew McCain said that McCain’s divorce was difficult for himself, along with his two siblings, at the time. Because of this, none of John’s children attended his wedding to Cindy, according to KREM2.

During McCain’s marriage to Shepp, he was a bomber pilot in the Vietnam War, who was shot down over Vietnam on October 26, 1967, as reported by KREM2. McCain was captured and kept from his family for close to six years. Daughter Sidney revealed to The NY Times that when her dad was finally reunited with his family, “I remember my dad just squeezing me and not wanting to let me go. It was very overwhelming at the time.”

Today, many of the McCain children have found success in family, as well as their careers. Andrew McCain went on to get into the business of his step-mother, Cindy, as he now serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer for Hensley Beverage Company. Cindy McCain was the daughter of Jim Hensley, the original head of Hensley & Co. According to Andrew McCain’s Vanderbilt University’s bio, Hensley & Co. is one of the largest, privately-held companies in Arizona. Many may be familiar with the company because of its Anheuser-Busch products.

Meghan McCain went on to become one of the faces of daytime talk show The View and has often spoken about her father, along with her own political views, on the show. Upon her father’s death, Meghan released the following words on Twitter, “I love you forever – my beloved father @SenJohnMcCain.” Read her Twitter post below for her full message.

Some of John McCain’s children are a bit more private and John reportedly likes to keep it that way as much as possible. In 2007, eldest son, Doug, told The New York Times that, “I think he’d prefer the family kind of stayed private. I just think he is a big believer in individuals doing their own thing.” But, while John would be traveling for work, his wife, Cindy, was often the disciplinarian, as Jack reportedly stated that, “My mother was the one doing the heavy lifting of child rearing,” according to KREM2.

The kids reportedly were allowed to watch television on the weekends and only received an allowance after each of their chore chart were complete. Son Jack said that his father always pushed education in the household. In addition, “He was having us live very much the same way he lived himself. So, fierce self-reliance, fierce independence, the appreciation for nature, an appreciation for the poetry life.”


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