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For immediate release
October 12, 2005
Chad Campbell, NPR: | 202.513.2304

Senator John McCain Contributes Personal Essay to NPR’s This I Believe, on the October 17 Edition of All Things Considered

WASHINGTON -- This I Believe, the NPR® weekly series of personal essays about core values and beliefs - a contemporary version of Edward R. Murrow’s landmark 1950s project - will feature the thoughts of Senator John McCain on the October 17 edition of All Things Considered®.

McCain joins an impressive list of well-known global leaders who have contributed essays to the series since it made its premiere April 4; they include former Secretary of State Colin Powell; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; activists Andrew Sullivan and Gloria Steinem; authors John Updike, Isabel Allende, Rick Moody and Azar Nafisi; psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison and scientist Brian Greene.

Exploring his beliefs, McCain recalls a teacher who taught him honor, his experience as a prisoner-of-war that taught him faith and how they combined to inspire him to serve his country. McCain says, "I have been an imperfect servant of my country and my mistakes rightly humble me. I have tried to live by these principles of honor, faith and service because I want my children to live by them as well. I hope to be a good example to them so that when their generation takes our place, they will make better decisions and continue to pave the path towards righteousness and freedom."

McCain is currently the senior Senator from Arizona. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1958, John McCain began his career as a naval aviator and became a Captain of the U.S. Navy. He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years. In 1982, he was elected to Congress and, in 1986, he was elected to the United States Senate. In 2000, McCain ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

This I Believe also features the work of NPR listeners and, after only six months, the series has generated more than 6000 listener submissions. The hopeful contributors range from professional writers and writing instructors to parole board officials, homemakers and attorneys. Their essays have been revelations about parents, personal struggles and the impact of race on their characters. And they have been serious and, at times, poignant, as well as unabashedly funny.

This I Believe has sparked communal essay-writing sessions in schools, universities, community groups and houses of worship and at life-changing events such as birthdays and funerals. Blogs have been created to share ideas, columnists have been motivated to write their own This I Believe pieces for their newspapers, and one school teacher even penned a This I Believe about using the series in her classroom.

To date, This I Believe essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on To listen or to read past essays please visit

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.

This I Believe is a collaboration between NPR and This I Believe, Inc., Dan Gediman and Jay Allison, producers.

This I Believe is partially funded by Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, which is the nation’s third largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group.