Longtime US Senator and Veteran John Warner Dies at 94

May 27, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert
john warner

Former Sen. John Warner accepts the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service during a 2016 ceremony at the Pentagon. DOD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley.

John Warner, who served in World War II and the Korean War before going on to represent Virginia in the US Senate for three decades, died of heart failure Tuesday. He was 94.

Warner’s wife and daughter were at his side when he passed at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, Tuesday evening, Military Times reported. 

Warner was born Feb. 18, 1927, in Washington, DC. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and served as a Marine pilot during the Korean War. He earned a law degree and became a clerk in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit after the war, eventually becoming an assistant US attorney in the late 1950s, CNN reported.

He served as secretary of the Navy from 1972 to 1974. Two years later, he met his future wife, Elizabeth Taylor, when the British ambassador asked Warner to escort the Hollywood star to an embassy party honoring Queen Elizabeth.

john warner navy
The Honorable John Warner addresses guests during the USS John Warner change of command ceremony on Aug. 15, 2018, in Norfolk, Va. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson.

Soon after their wedding, Taylor helped Warner campaign for an open US Senate seat in Virginia. His marriage expired after several years, but his career as a senator lasted five terms until he retired in 2008. Warner, a Republican, garnered support from moderates on both sides of the aisle and was so popular with Virginia voters that Democrats didn’t bother challenging him in 2002 for his reelection, CBS News reported.

“I had the privilege of serving alongside John in the Senate for three decades,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Wednesday. “The John Warner I knew was guided by two things: his conscience and our Constitution. And, when acting in accordance with both, he neither wavered in his convictions nor was concerned with the consequences.”

Warner’s military service made him one of the most highly regarded voices on national security issues. He chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee during the beginning of the Iraq War. Warner originally supported the invasion, but he changed course after a 2006 trip to Baghdad and later called on the Bush administration to start bringing troops home. 

Warner is survived by his wife, Jeanne Warner, and his three children.

Read Next: ‘Long Overdue’ – Biden Presents Medal of Honor to Legendary Ranger Col. Ralph Puckett

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Soflete: How This Veteran-Led Company is Changing Military Fitness Culture

In 2014, Soflete’s co-founders saw workout overkill hurting their peers as they prepared for selecti...

glock 19
Glock 19: Origin Story of a Legendary Pistol

Get to know the Glock 19 — how it works, who uses it, and why it’s one of the most popular handguns in the US.

afghan soldier asylum
Afghan Soldier Who Helped US Weathers Injuries, Uncertainty in Asylum Bid

Afghan soldier who assisted the U.S. now faces uncertainty in bid for asylum.

The Dirty Dozen
‘The Dirty Dozen’: Meet D-Day’s Real Rogue Commandos

The Dirty Dozen was based on a real team of rule-breaking elite paratroopers who jumped into France ahead of D-Day.

d-day 79th anniversary
Normandy Marks D-Day's 79th Anniversary, Honors World War II Veterans

This year's D-Day tribute to the young soldiers who died in Normandy is not only a chance to honor t...

f-22 raptor
The F-22: The Superiority Fighter That Never Shot Down an Enemy Plane

The F-22 Raptor was designed to fight next-gen Russian fighters. So far its only air-to-air kills are a Chinese balloon and a UFO.

Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway: Where America's March to Victory Began

The US Navy outwitted and outfought the Imperial Japanese Navy to secure victory in the do-or-die Battle of Midway.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved