Republican senator and war hero John McCain was one of the last few politicians who became respected by both Democrats and Republicans alike. He was a man who finally spoke out against the corruption going on around Capitol Hill, when most other Republicans refused to.
McCain recently passed away due to inoperable brain cancer, but has left a legacy that remains impressive. Though some would say McCain's brain cancer wasn't a tragedy, it really was. He was a true American, and showed the world what guts it takes to stand up for the right thing.
Most people think they know about John McCain and his family, simply from watching the news. But, do they really? These facts might surprise you.
He was a huge Hemingway fan.
John McCain has been known to go on the record, multiple times, saying that he was a massive Hemingway fan. One of the biggest hits on McCain's summer reading list was Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Not a fan of Hemingway? Not a problem, he also had other authors he liked. On his personal Medium account, McCain also highlighted The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor and Winds of War by Herman Wouk as favorites.
When he was interviewed after 9/11, reporters called him a "calming force."
When the towers fell, McCain was one of the first politicians to agree to speak to the media. He agreed to interview with over a dozen different reporters from a variety of different outlets.
Reporters who met with him called him a "calming force" during the days after the attacks occurred. Stoic as he was, he managed to keep many people on site from panicking.
He was a member of a traditional military family.
It's no secret that a lot of families have military traditions, and in the McCain family line, that means joining the military. One of the things you might know about John McCain is that he was a war veteran who served in the Vietnam War.
What you might not realize is that two of McCain's sons are also enlisted in the military. Jack McCain is in the Navy, while Jimmy McCain has become a Marine.
Speaking of which, you might not realize how much of a family man McCain was.
One thing that is totally common is hearing about politicians who brand themselves as "family men." It's almost a prerequisite to hear about politicians who are married with kids. However, many of them are pretty inauthentic about their family ties.
John McCain was married twice, and had a total of seven children. One of his seven kids was adopted, showing that he always had room in his heart for a child in need.
McCain once played 'Jeopardy!'
It's true. John McCain was a one-day champion at Jeopardy! No, we're not talking about the tabletop game by the same name; we're talking about Jeopardy!
The future senator was invited on the television show in 1965. He almost won the game, however, he ended up losing due to a question on Wuthering Heights.
Always ready for a meet and greet, he later showed up on stage after he became senator just to say hello to Mr. Trebek.
He had a sense of humor that made him a great sport when being made fun of.
Comedy Central, as a network, was a huge fan of lampooning McCain—just like they did with all other politicians. One of the things you may know about John McCain is his ability to take a joke pretty darn well, especially when compared to other Republicans.
He appeared on Saturday Night Live to make fun of himself, and was also featured in a South Park episode as an aide to Barack Obama. He was actually really good on SNL, making you wonder why he didn't pursue a career in comedy too.
While growing up, he loved hearing legends about King Arthur.
In an FAQ that he released, John McCain claimed that his favorite children's book is King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. It seems like he's always had a thing for classic heroes, saving the day, and being inspired by all-around great people.
No word yet on whether he was a fan of Monty Python's version of it, or about that conundrum involving swallows.
John McCain was a huge Diamondbacks fan.
Plenty of politicians really enjoy saluting sports teams on their successes, but McCain genuinely adored his Diamondbacks. When the Diamondbacks won the World Championship, he personally stopped by to congratulate them.
The senator was also known for avidly watching every game they played during baseball season. When they weren't playing, he would turn his attention to the Cardinals or the Phoenix Coyotes.
When McCain died, the Arizona Diamondbacks paid their respects with a moment of silence and a game dedicated to the fallen senator. That's love, being shown from the likes of J.D. Martinez and other greats.
John McCain was a serious animal lover.
Along with being a family man, John McCain was a presidential hopeful who also happened to have a love of animals that rivaled Teddy Roosevelt's.
In his house, he had four dogs, a cat, three parakeets, two turtles, and an entire school of fish. Oh, and if you want to hear something adorable, he named his two Yorkies "Lucy" and "Desi," after the two stars from I Love Lucy.
Even his taste in food was all-American.
If there's one saying you probably know about John McCain, it's that he was a real-life Captain America. The senator was as all-American as he could get, all the way down to his simple taste in food.
If you wanted to make the senator happy, the easiest way to do that would be to fire up some burgers on the grill or just serve up some hot dogs. That's a perfect Fourth of July menu, isn't it?
Surprisingly, he offered up one of his favorite recipes for homemade ribs to the public. They just fall off the bone, and yes, you can even make them in a crockpot.