20 things about John McCain

  • Updated: September 4, 2008 - 11:08 PM


1. He mans his own grill. His specialty: Costco's pork baby back ribs with a garlicky dry rub, finished with a squeeze of lemon. He has joked that as president, he'll replace Bill Clinton's White House putting green with a grill.

2. His wife says her obsession with electronic gadgets and technology is one of his pet peeves. He doesn't e-mail or surf the Web and likes to read the newspaper in print.

3. He says his pet peeve is politicians who talk too much. (He admits he's guilty, too, sometimes.)

4. His favorite book is "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway.

5. He was addicted to the TV show "24."

6. He carries a lucky penny.

7. He played Scrooge in the POWs' staging of "A Christmas Carol" at the Hanoi Hilton.

8. His film favorites include "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "Casablanca" and "Viva Zapata!"

9. He talks to fellow prisoners of war, those with whom he shared a cell in Vietnam, almost daily.

10. He has seven children. The first two he adopted from his first wife's previous marriage; the third was born to him and his first wife, Carol; the next three were born to him and his second wife, Cindy, and the seventh they adopted from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh. He has four grandchildren.

11. Cindy McCain was in Bangladesh on a charity mission and brought home baby Bridget without checking first with McCain.

12. He is the son and grandson of admirals. He has two sons in the military: Jack, 22, who is attending the U.S. Naval Academy, and Jimmy, 20, a Marine who has served in Iraq.

13. He graduated fifth from the bottom in his class at the Naval Academy, ranking 894 out of 899. Later, his honors from Navy service included the Prisoner of War Medal, Purple Heart, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

14. He doesn't like to be alone.

15. At Christmastime, he likes to supervise the lighting of about 1,000 luminarias on his Sedona property with family and friends.

16. Going on vacation with him is anything but relaxing. His children call it "Camp McCain."

17. He's an early-bird.

18. He's into fruit trees. And birds. He keeps binoculars and bird books at the ready in Sedona. His pet collection: two dogs, two turtles, a cat, a ferret, three parakeets and 13 saltwater fish.

19. His wife, a beer distributorship heiress, has an estimated worth of about $100 million. In 2006 she reported an income of $6 million. The McCains have a prenuptial agreement.

20. McCain, 72, collects a monthly Social Security check of about $1,900 and an annual $58,358 pension as a retired Navy officer. In 2007 he reported $176,488 in royalties on books he has written from 1999 to 2007, most notably "Faith of My Fathers" and "Why Courage Matters."


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