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The son and grandson of four-star admirals, navy pilot John McCain was shot down in 1967 while flying a bombing mission over Hanoi. A POW at the infamous Hanoi Hilton, he was released in 1973. In 1981, he moved to Phoenix and entered politics. Join us as we examine just how far up the political ladder this maverick U.S. Senator will climb.
Produced and broadcast on cable television before Arizona senator John McCain announced he was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 presidential race, Biography: John McCain told the warts-and-all story of McCain's life and political career. The familiar chapters are all here, including the struggle between McCain's destiny--as the son and grandson of elite military officers--to serve in the armed forces with distinction and his more naturally wild and devil-may-care attitude. (McCain graduated from Annapolis fifth from the bottom of his class.) The womanizing and rebellious McCain ultimately married and flew missions dropping bombs over Hanoi, the latter resulting in his five-and-a-half years as a prisoner-of-war, enduring many hardships and constant torture. The familiar newsreel footage of a shaken McCain in captivity belies the terrible conditions he withstood when the propaganda cameras weren't rolling. When that harrowing part of McCain's story finally ends, Biography examines in fascinating detail the ups and downs of his political life, establishing a reputation as a party maverick but taking his lumps, too, with the Keating scandal. Along the way, McCain's natural honor and impish humor always shine through. On the other hand, one does get a glimpse or two of his legendary impatience and temper, chalked up to a Vietnam experience that taught McCain not to waste time and opportunity. Biography: John McCain includes a short coda updating the original program with facts and details about McCain's campaign for the 2008 race. --Tom Keogh