Cindy McCain
Philanthropist and Businessperson
Cindy McCain
Cindy Lou Hensley McCain 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.
Biography
Cindy McCain's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Cindy McCain from around the web
UNCUT VIDEO: Cindy McCain: Syrian Refugee Ordeal Is a ‘True Crisis’
Fox News - about 1 year
From the Turkish border in Istanbul, the wife of Sen. John McCain went ON THE RECORD with her account of Syrian refugees’ plight, victimization by smugglers, their desire to return home and how the crisis is a “human and ecological tragedy” and more. Watch and sound off. The post UNCUT VIDEO: Cindy McCain: Syrian Refugee Ordeal Is a ‘True Crisis’ appeared first on Gretawire.
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Fox News article
Super Bowl Danger: NJ gov. on threat of human trafficking
Fox News - about 3 years
Cindy McCain highlights the danger
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Fox News article
What If the Media Reported on Male Politicians Who Are Fathers Like It Reports on Wendy Davis?
Huffington Post - about 3 years
This post first appeared on The Frisky, where Avital is a contributor. When a woman attempts to find some semblance of "having it all," she automatically becomes demonized. We can't seem to rise up in the ranks -- whether it's in the corporate world or in politics -- without our personal lives, particularly our mothering skills, being called into question. The latest female politician in the hot seat is Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who is running for governor on the Democratic ticket. She has recently been skewered (again) for having been both a young mother and a single mother. The focus circumventing her actual politics (like her support for women's reproductive rights) and instead revolve around how she is as a mother. A reporter for Fusion even asked Davis to respond to a blog post by Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol Palin -- seriously, her -- that called Davis a woman "whose ambition and ego were so big she couldn't have both a career and kids at the same time." Both Jessica ...
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Huffington Post article
365: How the Focus on the Super Bowl Hurts Trafficking Victims
Huffington Post - about 3 years
What's the biggest event for human trafficking in the U.S.? If you said the Super Bowl, you'd actually be wrong. It's understandable, however that you'd believe that to be the case when it's being touted as such by everyone from Cindy McCain who called it the "largest human trafficking venue on the planet" to Representative Chris Smith, NJ, who said, "One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks." Those quotes and many others have been repeated by breathless news reporters on almost every media outlet. The truth is that there is no 'single largest incidence of human trafficking' as the Super Bowl was called in 2011 by the Texas Attorney General who also talked about 10,000 to 100,000 victims being trafficked into Dallas. Despite a lot of press conferences and preparations each year by each city where the event will be held, each year there is no evidence of these ...
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Huffington Post article
Bipartisan effort to curb sex trafficking at the Super Bowl
Fox News - about 3 years
Sen. Klobuchar, Cindy McCain speak out
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Fox News article
VIDEO: Hosting Politico’s WOMEN RULE panel on human rights
Fox News - about 3 years
A few days ago I hosted a panel for Politico’s Women Rule event with Cindy McCain, Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Ph.D. and Malika Saada Saar to discuss human rights and helping the disenfranchised. Check out video of the panel below and post your thoughts on the discussion! I was also interviewed by Politico’s Bridget Mulcahy…here is that video! The post VIDEO: Hosting Politico’s WOMEN RULE panel on human rights appeared first on Gretawire.
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Fox News article
This is fun! I have been asked by Politico’s WOMEN RULE EVENT to moderate a panel
Fox News - over 3 years
Politico is sponsoring a forum with a panel next Thursday on how women use various leadership capabilities to fight human trafficking, promote human rights etc. I was asked to moderate the panel and I am happy to do it.  I like moderating panels — you get the best seat in the house and you get to hear various ideas, you hear about different experiences, sometimes strong debate etc.  In short you learn…and it provokes you to think as you listen. The women participating on the panel include Cindy McCain, Ambassador Samantha Power, Elizabeth J. Letourneau, and Malika Saada Saar. CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE The post This is fun! I have been asked by Politico’s WOMEN RULE EVENT to moderate a panel appeared first on Gretawire.
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Fox News article
Meghan McCain Covers Being 'Gay In America' On New Series 'Raising McCain' (VIDEO)
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Meghan McCain's new show, "Raising McCain," which is carried on the recently launched millenial-geared network Pivot, features McCain traveling around the country covering topics impacting young Americans today. The latest episode of the docuseries, airing this weekend, is entitled "Gay in America" and in it McCain interviews figures like Wilson Cruz about being gay in modern day America. Watch the clip above, in which McCain accompanies her mother, Cindy McCain, to The Trevor Project awards gala, Trevor Live, where her mother received the Trevor Hero award. In the car ride to the ceremony they discuss the Republican party's acceptance of gay people, something that both McCain women feel is long overdue. Catch the full of episode of "Raising McCain" when it airs this Saturday night, October 5 at 10pm ET/PT on Pivot.
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Huffington Post article
Cindy McCain (wife of) jumps into this one!
Fox News - over 3 years
Cindy McCain spends a great deal of her time doing humanitarian work so it is no surprise that she tweets this…. The post Cindy McCain (wife of) jumps into this one! appeared first on Gretawire.
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Fox News article
LOOK: Cindy McCain Gets LGBT Advocacy Honor In NYC
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Cindy McCain nabbed a huge honor for her lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth advocacy work in New York on June 17. McCain received the Trevor Hero Award at TrevorLIVE, the annual event benefitting The Trevor Project at New York's Chelsea Piers. The award was presented to McCain by her daughter Meghan. The event also brought out other familiar faces such as Tony-winning "Kinky Boots" star Billy Porter, "Glee" actress Jane Lynch and Wilson Cruz. Click through the slideshow to see who else came out for this year's gala which raised money for LGBT youth:
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Huffington Post article
Cindy McCain Gets Huge Gay Honor
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Every year The Trevor Project awards a Trevor Hero Award at their annual fundraising gala. Lady Gaga, Daniel Radcliffe and Katy Perry have been honored at Trevor Live in the past, but this year the honoree will not be a Hollywood name, but Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). McCain expressed her gratitude for being named recipient of the Trevor Hero award in recognition for her ongoing efforts supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in a press release: “As a parent you make your best efforts to teach your children everything but there’s always that moment of realization when your child has taught you something. That’s how I became an advocate to the LGBT community –- through my children who taught me that love is love. I’m thrilled to have been selected by The Trevor Project but I share this honor with my children.” In the past, McCain has attributed her views on the LGBT community to her children for making her realize th ...
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Huffington Post article
Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points -- What the Media Missed
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
We've got a lot to cover this week, so we're going to try to get through everything in a rather foreshortened format. At least, that's the goal (I have lost count of the times I've started one of these columns with "It's going to be shorter this time, dammit!" and then wound up with the usual tome's-worth of text when I get to the end). First, some "old business" to start. For anyone who missed it, and is still in a foolish mood, some House Democrats put together an amusing "House of Fools" website to poke fun at Republicans. With that out of the way, we're going to take a quick overview of what the media considers the big stories of the week, and we're going to end up in the Talking Points section with all the stories you may have missed due to the media being distracted by this stuff, just for fun. President Obama just waded into some brackish waters in the sexism swamp by how he referred to California's attorney general at a fundraiser. Note to politicians: since t ...
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Huffington Post article
Look who is watching the Jodi Arias murder trial! Click to find out
Fox News - almost 4 years
Yes, Cindy McCain, wife of US Senator John McCain (the twitter account is a verified one.)
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Fox News article
Ann Romney, Michelle Obama face off in cookie contest
Bites on Today - over 4 years
AP, AFP - Getty Images Ann Romney, left, and Michelle Obama will go head-to-head in a cookie recipe contest. By Jillian Eugenios Turns out there may be a way to accurately predict the outcome of the presidential race — and the proof is quite literally in the pudding. For the last five elections, Family Circle magazine has asked spouses of the candidates to share their favorite cookie recipes. Readers then do their patriotic duty: Bake, taste, vote. Only once has the cookie test not accurately predicted which leading lady has gone on to call the White House home.  The cookie-off first took place in 1992, when Hillary Clinton's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies went head-to-head with Barbara Bush's classic chocolate chip recipe. Clinton won, and she was back at it again in 1996. She stuck to her guns with her oatmeal chocolate chip recipe, taking on Elizabeth Dole’s pecan rolls. Clinton again had a winner. Then, sweet-toothed voters baked up Tipper Gore's gingersnaps and Laura B ...
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Bites on Today article
Steve Clemons: John McCain's New Institute Launching Tomorrow
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Despite some of my foreign policy differences -- like the whole bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran thing -- with Sen. John McCain, who once told me he was "the original neoconservative," I have always greatly, truly admired his patriotism and dedication to trying to get the American political system to operate honestly and in a way consistent with what the framers of the Constitution intended.  He has been a major voice in the country on campaign and elections reform, on fiscal matters, on national security, on immigration, and on leadership in every sense. His body of work actually deserves a library to house it -- but our system doesn't give those who come in second place for the presidency a National Archives run operation.  Instead, McCain and a bipartisan group of supporters -- including Senators Kelly Ayotte, Sheldon Whitehouse, Lindsey Graham, Mark Udall, Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin as well as CIA Director David Petraeus, and others -- are punctuating the start of a ne ...
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Huffington Post article
Dustin Lance Black: Both Obama And Romney Are “Up In The Air” About Marriage Equality
Queerty - almost 5 years
The fact that Obama says his position is “evolving” indicates change, but that simply leaves me hoping again. Is this “evolution” akin to a message from a good friend, who, after an argument, has stepped onto an L.A.-to-N.Y. red-eye? He can’t fall asleep until he sends that e-mail saying, “Hey, I’m at 30,000 feet (over the swing state of Ohio). Don’t worry, I’ll make things right when I finally land in (the equality state of) N.Y.” Possibly. Hopefully. The problem is, when the president flies, he’s on Air Force One, a plane designed to refuel in the air. He can stay up there for as long as it serves him. On paper, it’s often tough to discern how Obama’s views on marriage differ from, say, GOP superstar Gov. Chris Christie, who believes separate-but-equal civil unions are just fine. And that actually puts the president behind the national polls, Dick Cheney, Laura Bush, Cindy McCain and many Republicans in the New York, New Hampshire and Maryland legislatures who support marriage eq ...
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Queerty article
Report: Congo's Security Sector Reform is Vital
Voice of America - almost 5 years
A new report directed by the U.S.-based Eastern Congo Initiative is calling for more political will inside the Democratic Republic of Congo and more help from outside to effectively reform the country's security sector, after years of failure.  The report is called "Taking a Stand on Security Sector Reform." More than a decade after the official end of Congo's war, an estimated 1.7 million people remain displaced internally because of ongoing violence, mostly in the east of the country, while about half a million Congolese remain refugees in neighboring countries. In eastern regions, gender-based violence and rape, the recruitment of child soldiers, militia and rebel activity, illegal mining and cross-border smuggling remain rampant.  The most recent election cycle was marred by violence across the country. Despite large quantities of highly sought minerals used to make cell phones and laptops, the Democratic Republic of Congo remains 187th out of 187 countries on the United Nation ...
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Voice of America article
Piers Morgan Tonight: Cindy McCain wont be seeing HBO's "Game Change"
CNN Press Room - almost 5 years
Last night,  "<a class="fplink fp-222791" href="/Piers+Morgan+1">Piers Morgan</a> Tonight" welcomed a woman who is no stranger to political process and life inside an election campaign, <a class="fplink fp-50410" href="/Cindy+Mccain+1">Cindy McCain</a>. The wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, the businesswoman and philanthropist offered a very negative reaction to the upcoming film "Game Change": "I lived this, and from everything I've read and heard it doesn't even resemble what took place," said McCain in reference to the HBO movie documenting the Republican Party during the 2008 presidential election. "I can go to Disneyland for fiction."
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CNN Press Room article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Cindy McCain
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 60
    She praised Obama and Congress for passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 and, together with Malika Saada Saar, executive director of the Human Rights Project for Girls, started the No Such Thing Campaign to end the use of the term "child prostitute", saying "there are only victims and survivors of child rape."
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    In April 2015, during the Sedona Forum, Cindy McCain and actress Demi Moore discussed ways to end sex trafficking.
    More Details Hide Details Later in that year she staged appearances with Heidi Heitkamp, Democratic Senator from North Dakota, to discuss human trafficking in that state and elsewhere. She said of trafficking, "Everybody has seen it; they just didn't know what they were looking at."
  • FIFTIES
  • 2013
    Age 58
    In late 2013 and early 2014, McCain used the occasion of Super Bowl XLVIII to highlight her concerns about sex trafficking in the United States, an issue that she had begun working on in conjunction with The McCain Institute.
    More Details Hide Details She campaigned for legislation to address the problem at both the federal and state levels. She also served as co-chair of the Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's Task Force on Human Trafficking.
  • 2012
    Age 57
    She has noted the difficulty of getting attention to some of the topics she feels most strongly about; at a Futures Without Violence summit in 2012, she said, "When I talk about rape in Congo, people turn their backs and run, especially the men."
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  • 2011
    Age 56
    McCain appeared in March 2011 alongside Eastern Congo Initiative founder Ben Affleck to testify before a panel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on behalf of continued monetary assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo, in an environment where the Republican-controlled House was looking to make significant cuts to foreign aid.
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  • 2010
    Age 55
    During her husband's eventually successful 2010 senatorial re-election campaign, she rarely made public appearances.
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  • 2009
    Age 54
    In September 2009, she spoke about her migraines publicly for the first time and decided to speak at the International Headache Congress about raising awareness for sufferers.
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    She expressed support for LGBT rights by appearing alongside her daughter Meghan at an April 2009 convention of the Log Cabin Republicans, and posing for the NOH8 Campaign, a gay rights project opposed to California Proposition 8, a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.
    More Details Hide Details The following year she appeared in another NOH8 public service announcement against bullying, and in it appeared to break with her husband's position and express support for repeal of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting gays from serving openly in the U.S. military. But she subsequently tweeted that "I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be a part of it. But I stand by my husband's stance on DADT."
    Continuing her humanitarian aid work with a January 2009 trip to Dubai, India, and Cambodia, she said that she was relieved that the campaign was over and that, while it had been "wild and nuts" at times, it had also been "a remarkable experience to be a contender for the highest office in the land."
    More Details Hide Details She said the ongoing global economic crisis was adversely affecting humanitarian organizations, and she expressed hope that President Obama would be successful in dealing with it.
  • 2008
    Age 53
    In August 2008, a member of the public shook her hand very vigorously, aggravating her existing carpal tunnel syndrome condition and causing her to slightly sprain her wrist.
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    On November 4, 2008, she fought back tears in an appearance as the McCain campaign reached its final day and subsequent loss to Obama.
    More Details Hide Details After the election, Cindy McCain was approached about appearing on Dancing With the Stars. She seriously considered participating, but according to John McCain, was concerned that her surgically replaced knee would not be able to withstand the rigors of the competition.
    In October 2008, she increased the intensity of her public remarks against Obama's candidacy, speaking with surprising vitriol in accusing the Obama campaign of being the dirtiest in history and saying of his position against a war-funding bill, "The day that Senator Obama cast a vote not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body."
    More Details Hide Details The stresses of the campaign caused the McCain's weight to fall under.
    Cindy McCain spoke on both the opening and final nights of the early September 2008 Republican National Convention.
    More Details Hide Details On the first night, truncated due to national attention regarding Hurricane Gustav, she appeared with First Lady Laura Bush to deliver short remarks encouraging support for hurricane relief efforts along the Gulf Coast, and on the last night, she introduced the seven McCain children and spoke about how her husband's love for his country had been passed on to them.
    In June 2008, a Rasmussen Reports poll found that 49 percent of voters viewed Cindy McCain favorably and 29 percent unfavorably, while an ABC News/Washington Post poll found figures of 39 percent and 25 percent respectively.
    More Details Hide Details Her style and fashion sense was the subject of much media scrutiny. McCain was compared to former first lady Nancy Reagan, due to both her style and wardrobe as well as her demeanor. Early in the campaign, some recipes attributed to Cindy McCain turned out to be copied from other sources; the campaign attributed the problem to an error by an intern.
    Also in February 2008, she publicly appeared beside her husband during a press conference in response to a newspaper report regarding his connection to a lobbyist.
    More Details Hide Details McCain faced media scrutiny about her wealth, spending habits, and financial obligations. At first declining to release her separate income tax returns, saying it was a privacy issue and that she would not do so even if she became First Lady, she later released the first two pages of her 2006 return, which showed $6 million in income for that year (including nearly $570,000 in itemized deductions and more than $1.7 million paid in federal income taxes). The campaign said that any decisions about how to handle her role in Hensley & Co. if she became First Lady would not be made until that time. While she stood to gain a considerable profit from the agreed-upon acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by the Belgian company InBev, she was initially under some political pressure to help oppose the deal and keep Anheuser-Busch under American ownership.
    In February 2008, McCain made news by being critical of Michelle Obama, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who had said, "And let me tell you something: For the first time in my adult lifetime I am really proud of my country."
    More Details Hide Details McCain, who was genuinely offended by the remark, replied: "I am proud of my country. I don't know about you—if you heard those words earlier—I am very proud of my country."
    She continued to expand her roles in such organizations, joining in April 2008 the board of Grateful Nation Montana, which provides scholarships and services to the children of Montana service personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details She made statements critical of the Bush administration for not deploying enough troops during the Iraq War. Her close examination of the financial books of the McCain campaign during the first part of 2007 convinced the candidate that its profligate spending could not go on and led to the drastic mid-year reduction of the campaign's staff and scope.
    She participated in both of her husband's presidential campaigns and, in 2008, drew both positive and negative scrutiny for her appearance, demeanor, wealth, spending habits, and financial obligations.
    More Details Hide Details She continues to be an active philanthropist and serves on the boards of Operation Smile, Eastern Congo Initiative, CARE and HALO Trust, frequently making overseas trips in conjunction with their activities. During the 2010s she has become prominent in the fight against human trafficking.
  • 2007
    Age 52
    She was active and visible in her husband's second presidential campaign during 2007 and 2008, despite not wanting her husband to run initially due to bad memories of their 2000 experience and worries the effect on her children, especially son Jimmy who was headed to serve in the Iraq War.
    More Details Hide Details She eventually supported her husband in his goals, but defined her own campaign roles; she frequently returned to Arizona to attend to domestic duties or interrupted campaigning for her overseas charitable work. She preferred to travel with her husband and introduce him rather than act as a campaign surrogate with a separate schedule. She wore her hair in a fashionable but severe style and was sometimes seen with an unsmiling countenance in her appearances.
  • 2005
    Age 50
    McCain joined the board of directors of CARE in 2005.
    More Details Hide Details She is on the board of the HALO Trust, and has visited operations to remove landmines in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Angola. She makes financial contributions to these organizations via her family trust and views her role as watching them in the field to ensure they are frugal and their money is being spent effectively. On occasion she has criticized foreign regimes on human rights grounds, such as Myanmar's military junta. In April 2004, McCain suffered a near-fatal stroke caused by high blood pressure, although she was still able to attend some events. After several months of physical therapy to overcome leg and arm limitations, she made a mostly full recovery, although she still suffered from some short-term memory loss and difficulties in writing. She owns a home in Coronado, California, next to the Hotel del Coronado; her family had vacationed in Coronado growing up, and she has gone there for recuperation and family get-togethers. She or her family own other residential and commercial real estate in California, Arizona and Virginia and, including rental properties, McCain herself owns ten homes and part of three office complexes. She is an amateur pilot and race car driver.
    She was honored by the organization in 2005 and sits on its board of directors.
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  • FORTIES
  • 2001
    Age 46
    McCain became actively involved with Operation Smile in 2001, taking parts in its medical missions to Morocco, Vietnam and India.
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  • 2000
    Age 45
    In 2000, she became chair of the now $300 million-a-year Hensley & Co. following her father's death.
    More Details Hide Details It is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch beer distributors in the United States. Cindy, her children, and one of John McCain's children from his first marriage, together own 68 percent of the company. As chair, her role takes the form of consultations with the company CEO on major initiatives such as new products, new plants or employee welfare, rather than that of an active physical presence. She does not have operational control of Hensley, and Anheuser-Busch considers her to be an absentee owner. By 2007, she had an annual income of over $400,000 from Hensley and an estimated net worth of $100 million. She also owned at least $2.7 million worth of shares of Anheuser-Busch stock. With her children, she owns a minority stake in the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team.
    She was chosen as the chair of the Arizona delegation to the 2000 Republican National Convention.
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    Although wary of the media and still having no love for the political world, McCain was active in her husband's eventually unsuccessful campaign for President of the United States in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details She mostly provided good cheer, without discussing her opinions about national policy. She impressed Republican voters with her elegance at coffee shops and other small campaign settings, where she frequently referred to her children, carpooling and charity work. McCain was upset by the notorious smear tactics against her husband in the South Carolina primary that year. These included allegations involving her adopted daughter Bridget that she found "despicable", as well as insinuations that McCain herself was currently a drug addict. Though deeply wounded by the attacks for a long time, Cindy McCain eventually forgave those responsible.
  • 1995
    Age 40
    AVMT concluded its activities in 1995 in the wake of the McCain prescription narcotics controversy.
    More Details Hide Details That year, McCain founded a new organization, the Hensley Family Foundation, which donates monies towards children's programs in Arizona and nationally. She was largely a stay-at-home mom during the balance of the 1990s. She also held positions as vice president, director, and vice chair of Hensley & Co. In the mid-1990s, she began suffering from severe migraine headaches, for a while keeping them secret from her husband and minimizing their effect to the rest of her family. Her attacks often resulted in trips to the emergency room, were caused by many different triggers, and she tried many different treatments.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1994
    Age 39
    Meanwhile, in early 1994, Gosinski filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against McCain, in which he alleged she ordered him to conceal "improper acts" and "misrepresent facts in a judicial proceeding"; he told her he would settle for $250,000.
    More Details Hide Details In response, Dowd characterized this request as blackmail, and requested Maricopa County attorney Rick Romley to investigate Gosinski for extortion. In the end, Gosinski's credibility was undermined by testimony in Romley's report from other charity staffers who asserted Gosinski privately vowed to blackmail McCain were he ever fired, and both Gosinski's lawsuit and the extortion investigation against him were dropped. Knowing that prosecutors were about to publicly disclose her past addiction, McCain preemptively revealed the story to reporters, saying that she was doing so willingly: "Although my conduct did not result in compromising any missions of AVMT, my actions were wrong, and I regret them... if what I say can help just one person to face the problem, it's worthwhile."
  • 1993
    Age 38
    In January 1993, Tom Gosinski, an AVMT employee who had discovered her illegal drug use, was terminated on budgetary grounds.
    More Details Hide Details Subsequently, he tipped off the Drug Enforcement Administration about her prior actions and a federal investigation ensued. McCain's defense team, led by John McCain's Keating Five lawyer John Dowd, secured an agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office for McCain, a first-time offender, which avoided charges while requiring her to pay financial restitution, enroll in a diversion program and do community service.
    Surgery in 1993 resolved her back pain.
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  • 1992
    Age 37
    In 1992, her parents staged an intervention to force her to get help; she told her husband about her problem, attended a drug treatment facility, began outpatient sessions and ended her three years of addiction.
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  • 1989
    Age 34
    In 1989, Cindy McCain developed an addiction to Percocet and Vicodin, opioid painkillers, which she initially took to alleviate pain following two spinal surgeries for ruptured discs and to ease emotional stress during the Keating Five affair.
    More Details Hide Details The addiction progressed to where she was taking upwards of twenty pills a day, and she resorted to having an AVMT physician write illegal prescriptions in the names of three AVMT employees without their knowledge.
  • 1988
    Age 33
    In 1988, inspired by a vacation that she took four years earlier to substandard medical facilities on Truk Lagoon, Cindy McCain founded the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT).
    More Details Hide Details It was a non-profit organization that organized trips for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to provide MASH-like emergency medical care to disaster-struck or war-torn third-world areas such as Micronesia, Vietnam (before relations were normalized between them and the U.S.), Kuwait (arriving five days after the conclusion of the Gulf War), Zaire (to help refuges from the Rwandan genocide), Iraq, Nicaragua, India, Bangladesh, and El Salvador. She led 55 of these missions over the next seven years, each of which were at least two weeks in duration. AVMT also supplied treatment to poor sick children around the world. In 1993, Cindy McCain and the AVMT were honored with an award from Food for the Hungry. In 1991, the AVMT went to Dhaka, Bangladesh, to provide assistance following the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone. While at Mother Teresa's Dhaka orphanage, the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa Children's Home, McCain met two infant girls she felt needed to be brought to the United States for medical treatment. She decided to adopt one of the girls, later named Bridget, with her husband readily agreeing; the adoption became final in 1993. She helped coordinate the adoption of the other little girl for family friend Wes Gullett.
  • 1986
    Age 31
    In April 1986, Cindy and her father invested $359,100 in a shopping center project with Phoenix banker Charles Keating.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    She subsequently gave birth to sons John Sidney IV (known as "Jack") in 1986 and James (known as "Jimmy") in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1984
    Age 29
    She moved back to Arizona in early 1984 and gave birth to the couple's daughter, Meghan, later that year.
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  • 1983
    Age 28
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1982
    Age 27
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Her wealth from an expired trust from her parents provided significant loans to the campaign and helped it survive a period of early debt.
  • 1980
    Age 25
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    She married John McCain in 1980 and they had three children together, in addition to adopting another.
    More Details Hide Details 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 illegal prescriptions on her behalf. She reached an agreement with the government in which no charges were filed against her. Upon her father's death in 2000, she inherited majority control and became chair of Hensley & Co., one of the largest Anheuser-Busch beer distributors in the United States.
  • 1979
    Age 24
    Hensley met John McCain in April 1979 at a military reception in Hawaii.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1978
    Age 23
    There she participated in a movement therapy pilot program that laid the way for a standard treatment for children with severe disabilities; she published the work Movement Therapy: A Possible Approach in 1978.
    More Details Hide Details Declining a role in the family business, she worked for a year as a special education teacher dealing with children with Down syndrome and other disabilities at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona.
    She continued on at USC, and received a Master of Arts in special education in 1978.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1972
    Age 17
    She went to Central High School in Phoenix, where she was named Best Dressed as a senior and graduated in 1972.
    More Details Hide Details Hensley enrolled at the University of Southern California. She joined the socially conservative Kappa Alpha Theta sorority as a freshman, and had many leadership roles in the house during her four years there. Hensley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education in 1976.
  • 1968
    Age 13
    Cindy Lou Hensley was born in Phoenix, Arizona, to James Hensley, who founded Hensley & Co., and Marguerite "Smitty" Hensley (née Johnson). She was raised as the only child of her parents' second marriages and grew up on Phoenix's North Central Avenue in affluent circumstances. (Dixie L. Burd, who is the daughter of Marguerite Smith through a prior relationship, is her half-sister, as is Kathleen Hensley Portalski, daughter of Jim Hensley and his first wife, Mary Jeanne Parks.) Cindy Hensley was named Junior Rodeo Queen of Arizona in 1968.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1954
    Born
    Born on May 20, 1954.
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