Cindy McCain Net Worth & Biography - Celebrity Net Worth

By Mixxerly Updated: SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

Introduction

NET WORTH

$450M

Cindy McCain is an American businesswoman, philanthropist, and humanitarian. She is the widow of United States Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain from Arizona and the mother of television host and commentator Meghan McCain.

She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona as the daughter of wealthy beer distributor Jim Hensley. After receiving bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Southern California, she became a special education teacher.

She married John McCain in 1980, and the couple moved to Arizona in 1981, where her husband was elected to the United States Congress the following year and reelected five more times. As of , Cindy McCain has an estimated net worth of about $450M.

At a Glance

Full name: Cindy Lou Hensley

Other names: Cindy McCain

Birthday: May 20, 1954

Age:

Net worth: $450M

Occupation: Teacher, Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Sociopolitical Activist.

Nationality: United States of America

Net Worth

Upon her father's death in 2000, Cindy McCain inherited majority control and became chair of Hensley & Co., one of the largest Anheuser-Busch beer distributors in the United States. She participated in both of her husband's presidential campaigns and, in 2008, drew both positive and negative scrutiny for her appearance, demeanor, wealth, spending habits, and financial obligations.

She continues to be an active philanthropist and serves on the boards of Operation Smile, Eastern Congo Initiative, CARE, and HALO Trust, frequently making overseas trips in conjunction with their activities. During the 2010s, she has become prominent in the fight against human trafficking. From 2017 until John McCain's death the following year, she dealt with her husband's battle against glioblastoma. She has remained visible in public life since then. As of , Cindy McCain has an estimated net worth of about $450M.

Favorite Quotes from Cindy McCain

“What matters is that our country is strong and respected and safe. We really are, you know, a very good country. We make our mistakes, but we’re also very, very strong. And so I don’t know. You know, I hold grudges. But I do believe in the process. With all my heart, I believe in the process. And I believe in our country.” – Cindy McCain
“He will be a commander in chief that the finest fighting force in the history of the world can depend on because he knows what it is like to send a child off to fight.” – Cindy McCain
“I would feel safe with my husband as president. Barack Obama is a fine man; I think Michelle Obama is a fine woman. This is about who would be better, and I think my husband would be better.” – Cindy McCain
“I brought home a baby without telling [husband John McCain], and he not only took it in stride but loved it, immediately embracing Bridget, who shares John’s very dry sense of humor, so she and her dad do pretty well together. If I hadn’t taken Bridget out, I think she would have become a prostitute or worse, died.” – Cindy McCain
“I’m an emotional woman when it comes to service to our country. I watched many people’s children leave and serve. This is something that is the fiber of the McCain family. It was nothing more than me just saying I believe in this country so strongly.” – Cindy McCain
“What intrigued me about him was his intelligence, his humor. I’d been all over the world. I had started a career. At that point, I had sort of committed myself to not committing. I didn’t want to have to raise a husband, but he was so sophisticated and so funny.” – Cindy McCain

Early Life and Education

Cindy Lou Hensley was born in Phoenix, Arizona, to James Hensley, who founded Hensley & Co., and Marguerite "Smitty" Hensley (née Johnson). She was raised as the only child of her parents' second marriages and grew up on Phoenix's North Central Avenue in affluent circumstances.

Dixie L. Burd, who is the daughter of Marguerite Smith through a prior relationship, is her half-sister, as is Kathleen Hensley Portalski, daughter of Jim Hensley and his first wife, Mary Jeanne Parks. Hensley was named Junior Rodeo Queen of Arizona in 1968. She went to Central High School in Phoenix, where she was named Best Dressed as a senior and graduated in 1972.

Hensley enrolled at the University of Southern California. She joined Kappa Alpha Theta sorority as a freshman, and had many leadership roles in the house during her four years there. Hensley graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in education in 1976.

She continued on at USC, and received a Master of Arts degree in special education in 1978. There she participated in a movement therapy pilot program that laid the way for a standard treatment for children with severe disabilities; she published the work Movement Therapy: A Possible Approach in 1978.

Declining a role in the family business, she worked for a year as a special education teacher of children with Down syndrome and other disabilities at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona.

Marriage and family

Hensley met John McCain in April 1979 at a military reception in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was the U.S. Navy liaison officer to the United States Senate, and was accompanying a group of senators heading for China. She was in Hawaii on a family vacation with her parents. Hensely was talking to Jill Biden, the wife of Senator Joe Biden, who suggested that she talk to McCain; her father made the introduction. He was almost 18 years her senior; by her later description, each fudged the age they said they were to the other: "He made himself younger, and I made myself older, of course."

He had been married to Carol McCain for 14 years and they had three children (two of whom he adopted from her first marriage). McCain and Hensley quickly began a relationship, traveling between Arizona and Washington to see each other. John McCain then pushed to end his marriage and the couple stopped cohabiting in January 1980, Carol McCain consented to a divorce in February 1980, it was finalized in April 1980.

Hensley and McCain were married on May 17, 1980 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. They signed a prenuptial agreement that kept most of her family's assets under her name; they kept their finances apart and filed separate income tax returns.

Her father's business and political contacts helped her new husband to gain a foothold in Arizona politics. She campaigned with her husband door to door during his successful first bid for U.S. Congress in 1982, and was heavily involved in campaign strategy. Her wealth from an expired trust from her parents provided significant loans to the campaign and helped it survive a period of early debt.

Once her husband was elected, the McCains moved to Alexandria, Virginia. She spent two months in late 1983 writing handwritten notes on over 4,000 Christmas cards to be sent to constituents and others. She was considered an outsider who was snubbed by the Washington congressional social scene, in part because Carol McCain was a popular figure in town, and she grew homesick for Arizona. She had several miscarriages.

She moved back to Arizona in early 1984 and gave birth to the couple's daughter Meghan later that year. She subsequently gave birth to sons John Sidney IV (known as "Jack") in 1986 and James (known as "Jimmy") in 1988. Their fourth child, Bridget, was adopted in 1991. McCain's parents lived across the street and helped her raise the children; her husband was frequently in Washington and she typically only saw him on weekends and holidays. In his absence, she organized elaborate fund-raisers for him and expanded their home.

In April 1986, McCain and her father invested $359,100 in a shopping center project with Phoenix banker Charles Keating. This, combined with her role as a bookkeeper who later had difficulty finding receipts for family trips on Keating's jet, caused complications for her husband during the Keating Five scandal, when he was being examined for his role regarding oversight of Keating's bank.

American Voluntary Medical Team

Founding and mission: In 1988, inspired by a vacation that she took four years earlier to substandard medical facilities on Truk Lagoon, McCain founded the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT).

It was a non-profit organization that organized trips for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to provide MASH-like emergency medical care to disaster-struck or war-torn developing countries such as Micronesia, Vietnam (before relations were normalized between them and the U.S.), Kuwait (arriving five days after the conclusion of the Gulf War), Zaire (to help refugees from the Rwandan genocide), Iraq, Nicaragua, India, Bangladesh, and El Salvador.

She led 55 of these missions over the next seven years, each of which were at least two weeks in duration. AVMT also supplied treatment to poor sick children around the world. In 1993, McCain and the AVMT were honored with an award from Food for the Hungry.

Adoption: In 1991, the AVMT went to Dhaka, Bangladesh, to provide assistance following the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone. While at Mother Teresa's Dhaka orphanage, the Sisters of Charity of Mother Teresa Children's Home, McCain met two infant girls she felt needed to be brought to the United States for medical treatment.

She decided to adopt one of the girls, later named Bridget, with her husband readily agreeing; the adoption became final in 1993. She helped coordinate the adoption of the other little girl for family friend Wes Gullett.