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Cindy Hensley and John McCain Marriage Profile


Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Cindy and John McCain in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on April 25, 2007.

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
The May-December marriage of John and Cindy McCain can also be put into the long-lasting marriage category.

Here is information on how John and Cindy met, their wedding, children, and more.


John Sidney McCain III: August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo in the Panama Canal Zone.

Cindy Lou Hensley: Abt. 1954.

How John and Cindy Met:

Cindy and John met in 1979 at a military reception in Honolulu.
John: "She was lovely, intelligent and charming, 17 years my junior but poised and confident. I monopolized her attention the entire time, taking care to prevent anyone else from intruding on our conversation. When it came time to leave the party, I persuaded her to join me for drinks at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. By the evening's end, I was in love."
Source: Dan Norwicki and Bill Muller, "Arizona, the early years", AZCentral.com, 03/01/2007.

Wedding Date and Information:

John and Cindy were married in a formal ceremony on May 17, 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. Cindy wore a long, white wedding gown and John dressed in a formal tuxedo.

The best man at their wedding was Sen. William Cohen and Sen. Gary Hart was an usher.

Cindy and John honeymooned in Hawaii.

Their May-December Marriage:

There is a 17-year gap between their ages.
Cindy about their age gap: "He made himself younger, and I made myself older ... when they published the [marriage] application, we both found out together our true ages ... It didn't matter anyway ... And it's been a funny joke for our kids ever since."
Source: Brian Orloff. "Cindy McCain Lied About Her Age to John – At First." People.com. 7/09/2008.


John has seven children. Cindy suffered two miscarriages early in their marriage.
  • Doug McCain: Born in 1959, Doug was adopted by John after he married Doug's mom, Carol Shepp. Doug is a commercial airline pilot.
  • Andrew (Andy) McCain: Born in 1962, Andy was adopted by John after he married Doug's mom, Carol Shepp. Andy is a business executive.
  • Sidney Ann McCain: Born in 1966, her mom is Carol Shepp. Sidney works in the music industry.
  • Meghan McCain: Born in 1984, her mom is Cindy MCain. Meghan is a journalist.
  • John Sidney (Jack) McCain IV: Born in 1986. His mom is Cindy McCain.
  • James (Jimmy) McCain: Born in 1988, Jimmy joined the Marine Corps in 2006. His mom is Cindy McCain.
  • Bridget McCain: Born in 1991, Bridget was adopted in 1993 from Bangladesh.

More Info: Jennifer Steinhauer. "Bridging 2 marriages, a large, close-knit brood." MSNBC.msn.com. 12/26/2007.


John and Cindy have several residences:
  • Arizona: a condo in Phoenix, a scenic ranch with creek-side cabins in Sedona, and Cindy's 2 condos Phoenix.
  • Virginia: a condo in Arlington.
  • California: Cindy's 2 San Diego condos and a condo in La Jolla, California.

More Info: "At Home with John McCain." Hgtv.com. "McCain family owns 8 properties." Politico.com.


John: U.S. Senator from Arizona, Vietnam veteran, Naval officer, presidential candidate.

Cindy: Educator, philanthropist, chairman of Hensley & Company.

Previous Marriage:

John has one previous marriage.
  • Carol Shepp: John met Carol, a model, while he was at Annapolis. They started dating in 1964 and were married on July 3, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As John was settling in to his naval career after his return from being a POW in Vietnam, their marriage started to have problems. Their divorce was finalized in April 1980.
    Carol Shepp and John McCain Marriage Profile

Quotes About the Marriage of Cindy and John McCain

Cindy about John: "He has a zest for life that sometimes can drive the rest of us nuts. When we're exhausted, John says, `There's more to the day -- let's go!'"
Source: Mary Leonard. "McCain character loyal to a fault." Boston.com. 3/4/2000.

John about Cindy's drug addiction: "I was stunned. Naturally, I felt enormous sadness for Cindy and a certain sense of guilt that I hadn't detected it. I feel very sorry for what she went through, but I'm very proud she was able to come out of it. For her, it was like the Keating affair had been for me, a searing experience, and we both came out stronger. I think it has strengthened our marriage and our overall relationship."
Source: Dan Norwicki, Bill Muller. "Arizona, the early years." AZCentral.com. 03/01/2007.

Jodi Kantor: "Mrs. McCain, 54, describes herself as her husband’s best friend, though for the last two decades they have mostly lived apart, she in Arizona, he in Washington ... Politics have always brought the McCains together: as she remarked during his failed 2000 presidential run, campaigns are when the two spend the most time with each other."
Source: Jodi Kantor, David M. Halbfinger. "Behind McCain, Outsider in Capital Wanting Back In." 10/17/08.

Pete Lakeland about John and Cindy: "I think John very much saw her as reclaiming the life he had lost. I think that was the real theme, that Cindy stood for everything he didn't have in prison. This was the sweet, innocent, pure American dream ... I think he was determined that his future was not going to be controlled by those five and a half years and his POW experience. He saw Cindy as the focus for his regeneration."
Source: Source: Robert Timberg, John McCain: An American Odyssey, page 132.

Cindy: “Having a strong father, I wanted an older man."
Source: Ariel Levy. "The Lonesome Trail." The New Yorker. 9/15/08.

Ariel Levy: For two years, Cindy McCain attempted to make a life with her husband in Washington. But there were no wide-open spaces, there was no privacy, and the credentials that made Cindy prominent in Phoenix had no value in the capital. She returned to Phoenix to bring up her family; her husband joined them on weekends. That has been the pattern of their lives ever since."
Source: Ariel Levy. "The Lonesome Trail." The New Yorker. 9/15/08.

Cindy: “When the kids were young and I was alone with all these babies, by Thursday I’d have a pity party, and John would walk in, see me hanging off the ceiling,” McCain told Harper’s Bazaar. “Did I get angry? Sure, I’m only human.” She has often referred to herself as a “single parent,” except on weekends.
Source: Ariel Levy. "The Lonesome Trail." The New Yorker. 9/15/08.

Ariel Levy: "McCain did not reveal her drug abuse to her husband until 1993, when she was being investigated by the D.E.A. and there was no way to prevent his finding out. Even then, she couldn’t bring herself to tell him face to face: John McCain learned of his wife’s addiction when she called him from her lawyer’s office. “It was hard for him to admit he didn’t know,” Cindy McCain told Harper’s Bazaar, “even though I explained, ‘It was my job not to let you know.’ ” This is women’s work, as the McCains have defined it: to keep their own suffering quiet.
Source: Ariel Levy. "The Lonesome Trail." The New Yorker. 9/15/08.

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