John McCain’s Mother Roberta, Who Campaigned For Him At 96, Passes Away At 108

The late Arizona Senator John McCain’s mother Roberta, who went on the campaign trail with him during the 2008 presidential election when she was 96 years-old, has reportedly passed away at the age of 108.

Roberta’s death was confirmed by Cindy McCain, John’s widow.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my wonderful Mother In-law, Roberta McCain,” Cindy tweeted. “I couldn’t have asked for a better role model or a better friend. She joins her husband Jack, her son John and daughter Sandy.”

Roberta’s granddaughter Meghan McCain, who just gave birth to her first child at the end of last month, also addressed her death on social media.

“I love you Nana. You’re everything I ever aspired to be. Thank you for teaching us all about living life on your own terms with grit, conviction, intensity and love,” Meghan wrote. “There will never be another one like you, you will be missed every day. I wish my daughter had gotten to meet you.”

No cause of death has been revealed for Roberta at the time of this writing.

Born in 1912 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Roberta was a 21 year-old college student in Southern California when she eloped in Tijuana, Mexico in 1933 with a sailor named John McCain Sr. They would go on to have three children in the next decade: Jean, John and Joseph.

“I got married young,” she said in 2008. “I was 20 years old, and it was the best decision I ever made.”

Fox News reported that Roberta was known for her rebellious streak and her frankness.

“She was a willful, rebellious girl,” John once wrote of his mother. He added in one of his books, “my mother was raised to be a strong, determined woman who thoroughly enjoyed life, and always tried to make the most of her opportunities. She was encouraged to accept, graciously and with good humor, the responsibilities and sacrifices her choices have required of her. I am grateful to her for the strengths she taught me by example.”

Roberta’s death comes two years after her beloved son John lost his battle with brain cancer. Despite being slowed down by a stroke, Roberta still attended his funeral.

The Associated Press reported that though she was 96 when her son ran for president, Roberta became a secret weapon for him on the campaign trail, winning over audiences with her vibrancy and energy. She even spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention, where her son credited “her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country.”

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