"Throughout his public career, John McCain has been a leader in the most critical issues facing our country. He has waged a determined and often solitary campaign against pork barrel spending, fighting for ten years to pass a line item veto. He has been a persistent proponent of lower taxes, deregulation and free trade. He has become one of Congress' most respected voices for a strong national defense, and for sound foreign policy.
John McCain has been an outspoken advocate for the reform of government institutions, and he has fought to change campaign finance, something at which he succeeded in 2002.
John McCain was first elected to represent the state of Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. As a long time admirer of Ronald Reagan, McCain was an early foot soldier in the ""Reagan Revolution."" He served two terms in the House before being elected to the Senate in 1985. He was re-elected to a third Senate term in November 1998. In that election, he received nearly 70% of the vote, a total which included 65% of the women's vote, 55% of the Hispanic vote, and even 40% of the Democrats.
Senator McCain is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and has in that capacity become a recognized leader on telecommunications and aviation issues, stressing the need to promote competition and government deregulation in the industries that are so important to the growth of the economy.
Senator McCain has received numerous awards in addition to the Paul H. Douglas Ethics in Government award, which he received with Senator Russ Feingold for his efforts at campaign finance reform. In 1997, he was named one of the ""25 Most Influential People in America"" by Time magazine.
The son and grandson of prominent Navy admirals, John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1958, McCain began a twenty-two year career as a naval aviator. In 1967, he was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner-of-war in Hanoi for five and a half years (1967-1973), much of it in solitary confinement. He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 1981. McCain's naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
John McCain tells what he learned about life and honor from his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals in the U.S. Navy, in his best-selling family memoir, ""Faith of My Fathers."" The book, detailing McCain's early life and military career, spent 24 weeks on the New York Times ""Best Sellers"" list.
Senator McCain has seven children and four grandchildren. He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Phoenix."
Jonathan Bousfield is an experienced freelance writer and author of Rough Guides to Croatia, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Austria and a regular contributor to the Rough Guide to Europe.