Profiles in Time: John McCain

Father’s Day Council Honors

With Father’s Day upon us, we got to thinking about extraordinary dads who share our passion for watches. Each year, the Father’s Day Council honors exceptional dads while raising money for family-related charities like Save the Children. In 2019, they won’t just be celebrating dads who are living legends. They’re also recognizing one standout dad who lost his battle to cancer last year: John McCain.

Regardless of your political persuasion, it’s hard to dispute that McCain was an admirable dad. He was a father to seven children, four of his own and three adopted. McCain also had five grandchildren. In addition to his all-star dad status, he proudly served our country in the Vietnam War. Later, he served as a Senator for six terms. McCain was also a steadfast Rolex man with a number of classic models in his collection.


His Military Career

John McCain’s desire to devote his life to our country came naturally. Both his father and grandfather were four-star admirals in the Navy. McCain followed in their footsteps, attending the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Upon graduating from flight school in 1960, he volunteered for combat duty in the Vietnam War. Several years later in 1967, he became a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down. McCain spent five and a half years in various prison camps until his release  in 1973. As a result, he earned a Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Distinguished Flying Cross.

John McCain and a fellow Navy Pilot in front of a plane.

The injuries John McCain endured as a POW prevented him from continuing his career in the Navy. Instead, he turned to politics. He began as the Navy’s liaison to the Senate in 1976. Five years later, he returned to the public sector, working for his father-in-law’s beer distribution company in Arizona. Here, he continued to establish political connections. Just a year later in 1982, he was elected to the House of Representatives and reelected in 1984. During his time in the House, you could always find him sporting a two-tone Rolex Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet.

Politics and Watches

From that point forward, McCain’s career started to develop, and so did his watch collection. By 1986, he had won election to the Senate and added other Rolex models to his collection, like the Air-King. He went on to win reelections in both 1992 and 1998. In 2000, McCain decided to put his name in the running for the Republican presidential nomination. However, he was ultimately beat out by George W. Bush. He supported President Bush’s bid for reelection in 2004, but joined the race again for the 2008 election. That year, he finally won the party nomination. Ultimately, he lost the general election to Barack Obama, who landed a historic win over McCain.

After 2008,  John McCain’s race toward the Presidency ended, and he returned to the Senate. Within the next decade, age and health issues began to emerge, but he remained steadfast in his role. It was not until July 2017 that McCain’s family would announce that the Senator faced brain cancer. Just over a year later in August 2018, McCain passed away at his home in Sedona at the age of 81.

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