Joseph Pinckney McCain II was born in 1942 in the naval base hospital in New London, CT. He attended 17 different schools by the time he completed 9th grade, as a result of his father’s perpetually changing naval posts. He entered the United States Naval Academy but left during his first year. He then attended the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary which became Old Dominion University. McCain was a member of the United State Navy and served on the USS Enterprise during the Vietnam War. He was an active advocate for the rights of POWs. Following the war, he had stints in journalism and medical school before becoming an actor. McCain was a volunteer manager for his brother’s 2000 presidential campaign in his home state of Virginia. In 2001, the Republican Party tried to recruit McCain to run for the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 8th congressional district but he declined as he felt the incumbent was too formidable in the Democratic district.