John McCain, the senator and decorated Vietnam war hero has died, one day after his family announced that they were ceasing his treatments for an aggressive form of brain cancer. Senator McCain will be remembered for a complex political legacy which saw him advocate for the war in Iraq and become one of President Trump’s most vehement detractors. He also leaves behind a sizeable fortune that he shared with his wife, Cindy McCain.
According to a 2016 report by the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain was worth $14.8 million. They also report that from 2005 to 2015, McCain invested heavily in the finance, insurance, and real estate sector. However, the sector which received his highest amount of investments is listed as “Unknown.”
Celebrity Net Worth lists his current net worth as $16 million. According to Business Insider, he and his wife own a large real estate fortune, which includes a sprawling million dollar ranch in Arizona. This fact was the source of a major flub during McCain’s failed presidential campaign. In 2008, a reporter from Politico asked him how many homes he owned and he couldn’t respond with an exact number.
“I think — I’ll have my staff get to you,” McCain said. “It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”
This was a major blow to the “everyman” image that the “McCain For President” campaign was trying to create at the time. Then-candidate Barack Obama took advantage of the error and used it against McCain at a subsequent political gathering.
Business Insider reports that John McCain made just under $2 million for the sales of his book, Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions, but he donated all of the proceeds to charity. As a senator, McCain would have received $174,000 per year, and his military pension was $75,000 in 2015.
The “real money” in the McCain family was inherited by his wife Cindy, whose last name was Hensley before she got married. She is a beer industry heiress whose net worth ballooned to $200 million when her father, the founder of Hensley and Co. died. The company is one of the biggest distributors for Anheuser-Busch in the United States. Cindy McCain is currently the chairman at Hensley and Co. and owns a large stake in the company.
According to a 2008 article in the New York Times, the McCain fortune is in Cindy’s name because of a prenuptial agreement.
Despite his large fortune, most Americans who remember him fondly will probably focus on McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War, his advocacy for veterans and his anti-Trump stance. Given his reluctance to discuss his wealth back in 2008, it’s likely that he would not have had it any other way.