The late Senator John McCain left behind seven children. Of those children, three – Douglas, Andrew and Bridget McCain – are adopted. Doug McCain is a pilot for a major airline, Andrew McCain works for Cindy McCain’s family business, and Bridget McCain has studied and worked at Arizona State University.
John McCain had three of his many children – Douglas, Andrew and Sidney – with his first wife, Carol Shepp McCain. Of those children, only Doug and Andrew are adopted. They are Carol’s children with her first husband.
After a divorce, McCain went on to marry second wife Cindy, a brewery distributor heiress. He and Cindy would have four children: Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, and Bridget. Bridget McCain was adopted by John McCain and Cindy from an orphanage in Bangladesh, bringing the tally of adoptive children to three in the McCain brood.
John McCain passed away at the age of 81 from brain cancer with his family at his side. His family played a prominent role during the memorial services scheduled to honor the late senator and war hero. In the photo below, you can see Andrew and Doug McCain sitting behind McCain’s widow, Cindy, and their sibling, Jack, at the first memorial service.
“We are a normal family just like everyone else,” Bridget once said. Speaking in 2008, she added to Scholastic.com, “My Dad’s best achievement is being a dad and also running for president at the same time. He always puts family first!”
Andrew McCain walked behind Cindy McCain and Defense Secretary James Mattis as McCain’s body arrived in Washington D.C.
“Our family is immensely grateful for the support and kindness of all his caregivers over the last year, and for the continuing outpouring of concern and affection,” a statement released by the McCain family following John McCain’s death said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Douglas McCain Is a Pilot for American Airlines & Andrew McCain Works as an Executive for Cindy McCain’s Family Company
Before he married Cindy McCain, John McCain was married to Carol Shepp McCain, his first wife. Carol was the wife who waited faithfully for McCain during the years when he was a POW in Vietnam. When they were married, John McCain adopted Carol’s two sons from her previous marriage – Douglas and Andrew, ABC News reported.
John and Carol divorced in 1980. McCain adopted Doug and Andrew in 1965, had Sidney with Carol in 1966, and was captured by the Vietnamese a year later, spending 5 and a half years as a POW, People Magazine reported. Their birth father was a man named Alasdair E. Swanson, who had also attended the U.S. Naval Academy.
Service in the U.S. Navy is a McCain family tradition, and Douglas McCain has helped carry on that legacy. According to The New York Times, he served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Andrew works for Cindy’s family company. After getting an MBA from Vanderbilt, Andrew McCain became an executive in the family distributor company.
Specifically, Andrew McCain is the President and Chief Operating Officer for Hensley Beverage Company. He is the only one of John McCain’s four sons to not serve in the U.S. Military. A Vanderbilt bio on Andy McCain says, “Andy’s responsibilities consist of overseeing all aspects of the company which includes managing the operations; finance; treasury; accounting; strategic planning; information technology; and sales and marketing functions of the company. Andy received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, 1984, and an MBA, 1986, both from Vanderbilt University.” He also serves on numerous charitable boards.
Jack and Jimmy, McCain’s two younger sons with Cindy McCain, have also served in the U.S. military, Jack in the Navy and Jimmy in the Marines and Army.
McCain’s three children with Carol did not attend his marriage to Cindy but later grew closer to her, according to People. In later years, such as during McCain’s 2008 presidential run, all of the children appeared together with the family at campaign events.
Flying has remained in Douglas McCain’s blood, and he is currently a captain for American Airlines, according to ABC.
Doug McCain is 58-years-old. He once told The New York Times that his father was kept happy if he got good grades, played sports, and followed a few basic rules while growing up.
“I hope I’ve been a loving father,” John McCain said in 2008. “My children are probably better qualified to make that assessment, but I’m certainly proud of them and what they’ve done in life—all seven of them.”
The New York Times article described how Douglas, Andrew, and Sidney grew up in childhoods dominated by John McCain’s absence. They grew up in Florida in a Naval community while John McCain was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, according to the newspaper.
Cindy McCain Brought Bridget McCain Home From Bangladesh Without Telling John
Bridget McCain was born in Bangladesh. Cindy McCain met Bridget as an infant through humanitarian work. According to Town and Country, Cindy was touring an orphanage in that country in 1991 when she noticed Bridget, who “suffered from a severe cleft palette as well as a congenital heart condition.”
Deeply moved, Cindy brought the child back to the United States with her – without telling John McCain – and Bridget was soon adopted and blended into the McCain brood. According to People Magazine, the McCain children are all protective of Bridget, who has had surgeries to repair her birth defects.
Bridget was adopted from the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa Children’s Home in Bangladesh. John McCain spoke about Bridget’s adoption to DadMag.com, saying, “Well it was primarily my wife’s Cindy’s idea. She was in Bangladesh and she and some of the medical personnel visited Mother Theresa’s orphanage to try and help the children there. There were two little baby girls there. One had a heart problem the other a severe cleft palate. Cindy was very concerned about their ability to survive and their need for medical treatment, so she decided to bring them here for medical treatment. She fell in love with both of them. We decided to adopt Bridget. Two close friends of ours, adopted Mickey, the other child.”
When Cindy came back home, she told John, “Say hello to your new little daughter,” he recalled to the magazine. The family quickly forged a tight bond. Bridget told Scholastic.com that her favorite family tradition was Christmas get togethers in which the family sang carols and lit hundreds of candles.