On August 25, 2018, just a few days before his 82nd birthday, Senator John McCain died, after a year-long battle with brain cancer. In his death, he left behind seven children, four of whom he had with second wife, Cindy McCain. Cindy and all of John’s children supported him in his battle and were by his side in the end. The day that her husband’s death was announced, Cindy took to Twitter to express her grief over the loss of her husband of 38 years. Cindy tweeted, “The entire McCain family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from around the world. Thank you … My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best.”
For John McCain’s funeral, several events were scheduled to take place. When he was lying in state at the Arizona Capitol, his tearful widow cried and laid her cheek on his casket.
When John McCain met Cindy Hensley, he was still married to first wife Carol Shepp, as reported by People. And, only six weeks after divorcing Carol, John married Cindy on May 17, 1980. His three children at the time, had difficulty with the relationship when it began, so they did not attend the wedding. Over the years, they have built a strong bond with Cindy. In fact, Cindy, who is heir to the Hensley beverage company, even has her step-son Andrew as a bigwig at the company. Early in the marriage, even John worked for Cindy’s dad, Jim Hensley, in his beer distribution company, according to The Washington Post.
Over the course of their marriage, the couple has had many struggles, especially when it came to Cindy’s drug addiction. She said she kept it from her husband, for fear of “letting him down”. During the 1990’s, Cindy underwent back surgery and became addicted to painkillers. According to Psychology Today, in 1994, Cindy revealed that she had solicited prescriptions for painkillers from physicians who had worked for an international charity that she had founded. The charity was the American Voluntary Medical Team. A former employee named Tom Gosinski tipped off the DEA, which audited the charity and initiated an investigation. Cindy, fortunately, came clean and received professional treatment.
According to People, when John McCain first found out about his wife’s drug issues, he raced home. Cindy recalled that, “He sat down next to me and said, ‘You should come to me first with whatever it is — I love you, I’m here for you, I will get through this with you.’ And he did.”
Together, John and Cindy McCain had two daughters and two sons. Their youngest child, daughter Bridget, was adopted from Bangladesh and Cindy pulled the trigger on the adoptions without cluing in John. The adoption took place in 1991, according to Telegraph. Bridget reportedly had a cleft palate that was so severe that she could not be fed, so Cindy took her home and got her the medical attention she needed.
When Cindy first introduced daughter Bridget to John, she recalled to Telegraph, “I remember John’s face. That day he was not the tough war hero senator. He was like every other new father, full of love and emotion.”
Cindy and John decided to raise their children in Cindy’s home state of Arizona, wanting to give them a well-rounded life.
In an interview with Larry King in 2002, John McCain said that he fell instantly in love with his wife, Cindy. John gushed that, “Schmaltzy as it sounds, it was love at first sight.”