LBJ Foundation Honors Senator John McCain with the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award

Jun 29, 2018

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AUSTIN, TX – The LBJ Foundation presented its most prestigious award, the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award, to Senator John McCain. The Senator's daughter, Meghan McCain, accepted the award on her father's behalf during a ceremony at the LBJ Presidential Library on Friday, June 29, 2018. Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, daughters of President Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, presented the award.

L-R: Lynda Johnson Robb, Meghan McCain, Luci Baines Johnson. Download. Photo by Jay Godwin.

The LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award honors those, like Senator McCain, who carry on President Johnson's legacy, personifying the mission he defined as our country's most basic: "to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man." Former recipients of the award include President George H.W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. John Dingell, Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. James Clyburn, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.

"Lyndon Johnson said, 'Our mission is at once the oldest and most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, and to serve man,'" said Mark K. Updegrove, President and CEO of the LBJ Foundation. "Throughout his noble career in the military and in Congress, John McCain has embodied that mission as much as any living American. The LBJ Foundation is proud to give him our highest recognition."

The Johnson and McCain families share a long history of public service. Lyndon Johnson served with Senator McCain's grandfather in the Pacific during World War II. During the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson was president when Senator McCain's father, Admiral John McCain Jr., was commander-in-chief of Pacific forces, overseeing more than 1 million soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and when Navy fighter pilot John McCain was shot down and taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese.

Admiral McCain and President Johnson
Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. and President Johnson in the Oval Office, July 16, 1968. LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.

John McCain first entered the public spotlight in 1967 when he was taken prisoner in North Vietnam during a combat mission. His captors soon learned he was the son of a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy and offered him early release, but McCain refused, not wanting to violate the military code of conduct and knowing that the North Vietnamese would use his release as propaganda. McCain was held in the "Hanoi Hilton" prison, suffering five and a half years of torture and confinement before his release in 1973. In 1986, after the retirement of the longtime Arizona senator and prominent Republican Barry Goldwater, McCain won election to the U.S. Senate, a position he holds to this day. McCain ran for president on the Republican ticket in 2008, losing to Democrat Barack Obama in the general election. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Meghan McCain joined ABC's daytime talk show, The View, as a co-host on Oct. 9, 2017. She has also been named a contributor to ABC News, making appearances on programs including Good Morning America and This Week. As the daughter of Sen. John McCain, she was propelled into the national spotlight at an early age and has become a powerful role model for women. She is a strong, respected Republican voice and is passionate about a wide range of topics from women's and social issues to marriage equality.

About the LBJ Foundation
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the LBJ Presidential Library and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Through the fundraising efforts of its Board of Trustees, the Foundation provides support to the Library that enhances quality programming, expands educational outreach and exhibits, and gives grants to researchers and scholars. The Foundation supports the LBJ School by providing funds for student scholarships and faculty endowments with the goal of attracting the brightest minds and preparing students for public policy leadership positions.

Anne Wheeler
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(512) 731-2351