Roberta <I>Wright</I> McCain

Roberta Wright McCain

Muskogee, Muskogee County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 12 Oct 2020 (aged 108)
Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 216864297 · View Source
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Socialite, Oil Heiress, and Centenarian. She was the widow of US Naval Admiral John S. McCain Jr. and mother of politician John S. McCain III and stage actor and journalist Joe McCain. Her father became wealthy from the oil industry and became a stay-at-home dad and the family traveled constantly. They settled in Los Angeles and she was primarily raised there. She eloped in 1933 with John S. McCain Jr. who was then a US naval ensign in Tijuana Mexico. She was then a student at the University of Southern California and McCain was attached to USS Oklahoma. In 1952, she was the ship sponsor for USS John S. McCain (DL-3), named for her father-in-law. In 1992 at the launching of USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) which was named for her husband and her father-in-law, she was also an honored guest. She raised her children while living in Capitol Hill. She 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. During the Vietnam War, her son, John S. McCain III, was taken as a prisoner-of-war. She and her husband awaited his release at Pearl Harbor. She 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 1971, she asked for no special sympathy regarding her son's captivity. Upon his release after five and a half years, she was notified that he had shouted expletives at his captors and her response was, "Johnny, I'm going to come over there and wash your mouth out with soap." She was active in the Navy Wives Clubs and her Capitol Hill home was a popular salon for lawmakers and politicians. From 2007 to 2008, McCain actively campaigned during her son's presidential bid. In August 2008, she appeared in a fashion shoot and was featured in a pair of Vogue magazine articles. For her 100th birthday in 2012, she had a small party at the Capitol Hill Club. Her centenary was brought up in a number of periodicals in the United States including an article by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Ken Herman. She was also featured in Town & Country magazine later that year. An essay written about her by Greta Van Susteren was featured by Politico during their “Women Rule” series in September 2013. That same month, she and her parlor were featured in an article in the Journal of Urban History. For her 106th birthday in February 2018, members of her family took to social media to express birthday wishes and share memories of McCain over the years. She accompanied other members of the McCain family in June 2018 for the DC 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 his death, she attended the ceremony that marked the arrival of his remains to lie in state in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol and attended the funeral at the Washington National Cathedral, where eulogies were given by President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush and others.

Bio by: Glendora

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Travis Cott
  • Added: 12 Oct 2020
  • Find a Grave Memorial 216864297
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Roberta Wright McCain (7 Feb 1912–12 Oct 2020), Find a Grave Memorial no. 216864297, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .