Cindy Hensley McCain was born to a prominent Arizona family in the early 1950s. In 1955, her father, James Hensley, founded Hensley & Company, which became one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributorships in America.
Cindy graduated from Central High School in Phoenix in 1972 and then attended the University of Southern California, receiving her undergraduate degree in education and master’s degree in special education. After college, she taught at Agua Fria High School in Arizona, where she worked with disabled children.
Marriage and Volunteer Work
In 1979, Cindy met John McCain at a military reception in Hawaii. At that time, John was serving as U.S. Navy Liaison Officer to the United States Senate. The McCains married on May 17, 1980. Cindy gave birth to three children, Meghan in 1984, John, IV in 1986, and James in 1988.
In 1988, Cindy founded the American Voluntary Medical Team, which she administered from 1988 to 1995. She conducted 55 medical missions to war-torn countries during the seven years of the AVMT’s existence.
Mother Teresa and Bridget
In 1991, while serving at one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Cindy encountered two infant girls who needed medical treatment that could only be done in the United States. She brought them home with her and obtained the medical care they needed. Then she and John adopted one of the girls and named her Bridget, who became their fourth child. Bridget is now fifteen years old. Cindy also arranged for the adoption of the other child as well.
Dedicated to serving others
In addition to her service through AVMT, Cindy has served on the board of trustees for the HALO Trust, a non-profit group that works to remove landmines in war-torn countries. She travels widely overseeing the removal of these deadly weapons. She has traveled to Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, and Angola,
She also serves on the board for Operation Smile, also a non-profit group, which repairs cleft palates and other facial deformities. Since 1982, this group has performed over 100,000 surgeries on children and young adults in 25 countries. Cindy has led missions to Morocco, India, Vietnam, and China.
Recently, Cindy agreed to serve on the board of directors for CARE, USA, an organization that fights global poverty, especially working for women who are poverty victims. In February 2007, she attended an international board meeting in Tanzania.
Cindy McCain is a tireless campaigner for her husband, but she has no personal interest in becoming an elected political figure. She represented Arizona in the Republican National Convention during the 2000 presidential election.
Cindy serves as chairman of her family’s business, Hensley & Company. The McCain family continues to reside in Phoenix.
For more information:
Cindy McCain: Myth vs. Reality
About Cindy McCain