John McCain’s Wife

March 8, 2012 by staff 

John McCain’s Wife, Cindy Lou Hensley McCain (born May 20, 1954) is an American businesswoman, and philanthropist, and the wife of United States Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona.

She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, as the daughter of wealthy beer distributor Jim Hensley. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern California, she became a special education teacher. She married John McCain in 1980 and they had three children together, in addition to adopting another.

From 1988 to 1995, she founded and operated a nonprofit organization, the American Voluntary Medical Team, which organized trips by medical personnel to disaster-stricken or war-torn third-world areas. During this time, she became addicted to painkillers for several years and resorted to having a physician write her illegal prescriptions. She reached an agreement with the government in which no charges were filed against her.

Cindy McCain, at christening of USS John S. McCain, September 1992, with daughter Meghan, son Jack, and husband John at the Bath Iron Works shipyard, Bath, Maine.
Hensley met John McCain in April 1979 at a military reception in Hawaii. He was the U.S. Navy liaison officer to the United States Senate and almost eighteen years her senior. McCain and Hensley quickly began a relationship, traveling between Arizona and Washington to see each other.

John McCain then pushed to end his marriage of fourteen years; Carol McCain and John McCain stopped cohabiting in January 1980, and Carol accepted a divorce in February 1980, effective in April 1980. John and Cindy were married on May 17, 1980 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. They signed a prenuptial agreement that kept most of her family’s assets under her name; they have since kept their finances apart and file separate income tax returns.

Her father’s business and political contacts helped John McCain to gain a foothold in Arizona politics. She campaigned with her husband door to door during his successful first bid for U.S. Congress in 1982, and was heavily involved in campaign strategy. Her wealth from an expired trust from her parents provided significant loans to the campaign and helped it survive a period of early debt.

Once John McCain was elected, the couple moved to Alexandria, Virginia. She spent two months in late 1983 writing handwritten notes on over 4,000 Christmas cards to be sent to constituents and others. She was considered an outsider who was snubbed by the Washington congressional social scene, in part because Carol McCain was a popular figure in town, and she grew homesick for Arizona. She had several miscarriages.

She moved back to Arizona in early 1984 and gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Meghan, later that year. She subsequently gave birth to sons John Sidney IV (known as “Jack”) in 1986 and James (known as “Jimmy”) in 1988. Their fourth child, Bridget, was adopted in 1991. Cindy McCain’s parents lived across the street and helped her raise the children; her husband was frequently in Washington and she typically only saw him on weekends. In his absence, she organized elaborate fund-raisers for him and expanded their home.

In April 1986, Cindy and her father invested $359,100 in a shopping center project with Phoenix banker Charles Keating. This, combined with her role as a bookkeeper who later had difficulty finding receipts for family trips on Keating’s jet, caused complications for her husband during the Keating Five scandal, when he was being examined for his role regarding oversight of Keating’s bank.

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