Synopsis by John Patrick Sheehan
Part of the Biography television series from A&E, this documentary reviews the career and personal life of Senator and war hero John McCain. Born into a family with a distinguished reputation in the U.S. Navy--McCain spent his childhood and adolescent years moving between naval bases in America and abroad. He graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1958 and trained as a Navy pilot. With the outbreak of the Vietnam War, McCain volunteered for combat duty and began flying carrier-based attack planes on low-altitude bombing runs against the North Vietnamese. McCain's plane was shot down over the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. He eventually spent five and a half years in various prison camps--three and a half of those in solitary confinement--and was repeatedly beaten and tortured before he was finally released. Having adapted well to the largely conservative politics of his home state Arizona, McCain won election to the U.S. Senate in 1986. In 1999, McCain emerged as a challenger for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. However, his large electoral deficit forced him to withdraw.