A look at the life and fortune of John McCain, who had a sprawling real estate portfolio and donated $1.7 million in book sales to charity

Ross D. Franklin/APSenator John McCain and wife Cindy McCain shared a $US200 million-plus fortune.
  • August 15, 2019, marks the one-year anniversary of Senator John McCain’s death, who passed away at age 81 due to complications stemming from brain cancer.
  • McCain’s memoir, “The Restless Wave,” was released in May.
  • He and wife Cindy McCain quietly sat on a fortune of more than $US200 million, largely due to Cindy’s stake in one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

August 25, 2019, marks the one-year anniversary of Senator John McCain‘s death.

He passed away on August 25, 2018, at age 81, shortly after his family announced he would no longer continue receiving medical treatment for brain cancer. He had reportedly been spending time at his ranch home in Sedona, Arizona, where he was receiving a flood of visitors as he battled glioblastoma, reported Town & Country.

In honour of his death a year later, his daughter, Meghan, took to Twitter to express her grief and his wife Cindy encouraged others to perform acts of civility. In a statement, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also encouraged others to engage in civility acts, calling McCain “a political giant” and “a genuine American hero.”

McCain’s new memoir, “The Restless Wave,” was released in May 2018. You may know McCain as the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, a Vietnam war vet, or an advocate for more civil politics.

What you may not know is that McCain and his wife Cindy sat on a private, but hefty fortune.

He was reportedly worth $US16 million, according to Celebritynetworth.com. But that’s only a fraction of what was his wealth – the rest came from his wife, who is an heiress to Hensley & Co., one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors.

She reportedly inherited a major stake in the company and became its chairman when her father, the company’s founder, passed away. She currently has a networth around $US200 million.

A prenuptial agreement dictates that the McCains’ money is in Cindy McCains’ name, reports the New York Times.

Take a look inside their fortune.

John McCain’s money came from multiple sources: his government salary and pension, a sprawling real estate portfolio, and private wealth largely held by his wife.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Sources:GOBankingRates, US Senate Financial Disclosures

The standard US Senator’s salary is $US174,000, and McCain received more than $US73,000 from his Navy pension in 2015.

Patrick Semansky/AP Photos

Sources:GOBankingRates, US Senate Financial Disclosures

McCain also earned $US1.7 million related to sales of his 2007 book “Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions,” which he donated to charity.

John Miller/Getty Images


John and Cindy McCain had a sizable real estate portfolio — not even the senator knew how many houses they owned when asked by a reporter in 2008. In Sedona, Arizona, they own a 15-acre ranch valued at more than $US1 million.

Josemaria Toscano/Shutterstock

The Washington Post

But his primary residence was a condo in a 12-story glass building in downtown Phoenix. The McCains reportedly spent $US4.67 million on a high-floor apartment in 2006 and bought the unit below for $US830,000 almost a year later, combining them into a crib deluxe.

Stephan Savoia/AP Photos

SourceZillow, Washington Post

In 2007, the McCains paid $US700,000 in cash for a loft at Biltmore Lofts in Phoenix for their daughter, Meghan. They eventually put it on the market for $US730,000.

Cindy Ord/Getty Images


They have also owned three beachfront pads in California, including one in La Jolla, a ritzy beach enclave in San Diego. The 1,429 square-foot condo was sold in 2017 for $US1.3 million.


Source:Zillow, Zillow

Adding to the beachfront properties are two condos in the same building in Coronado. Cindy reportedly bought the second when she tired of the kids using the first so frequently. The first was purchased in 2004 for $US2.6 million and the second for $US2.1 million a few years later, which they offloaded in 2014.


Source: Zillow, Washington Post

On the other coast, the McCains owned a 2,089 square-foot three-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia, complete with balconies, patios, and “climate controlled access to the Metro.” It was purchased by the Cindy Hensley McCain Trust in 1993 for $US375,000, according to public records. It sold for $US1.2 million in 2017.

From Zillow

Washington Post,

And then there’s Cindy McCain’s childhood home in Phoenix, which the couple sold to an investor in 2006 for $US3.2 million. It came back on the market at $US12 million in 2008 and finally sold for $US1.8 million in 2011. It has sold two more times since then.

Source:Forbes, Zillow

From 2006 to 2007, the McCains increased their budget for household employees from $US184,000 to $US273,000, according to tax returns, to support an “increase in the number of employees” potentially related to their growing real estate portfolio.

Stephan Savoia/AP Photos

CBS News

During the 2008 election, it was reported that the McCains owned 13 cars, including a 2004 Cadillac CTS, the senator’s personal ride; a 2005 Volkswagen; 2001 Honda sedan; a 2007 Ford truck; a 1960 Willys Jeep; a 2008 Jeep Wrangler; a 2000 Lincoln; a 2001 GMC SUV; and three NEV Gem electric vehicles. That’s not to mention a Toyota Prius for Meghan McCain and Cindy McCain’s Lexus, which is registered to Budweiser.

GM/AP Photos


Cindy is known to favour suits made by German designer Escada, which typically retail for $US3,000.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

CBS News

The McCains investment fund shares for their children were worth between $US2.7 million and $US5.8 million as of 2008.

AP Photos

ABC News

Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed about $US950,000 to the John and Cindy McCain Foundation, which made contributions of about $US1.6 million. More than $US500,000 went to their childrens’ private schools, $US210,000 went to the US Naval Academy Foundation in both 2001 and 2002, and large amounts have been donated to various medical causes with a focus on craniofacial research and the HALO Trust, a landmine-clearing organisation.

Paul Connors/AP Photos

Harper’s Magazine

The foundation has also donated smaller amounts, such as $US200 to the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix, $US500 to Cool Our Troops, $US350 to the Child Crisis Centre in Phoenix, and $US50 to the American Cancer Society’s Neighbourhood Cancer Program.

Susan Montgomery/Shutterstock

Harper’s Magazine

Nearly $US9 million in leftover presidential campaign funds from 2008 were transferred to the McCain Institute Foundation, which was used to establish the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.


Source:The Washington Times, ASU

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