NATIONWIDE — On Wednesday, June 22, 2021 at 11 a.m., a funeral service for Sen. John Warner will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
Sen. Warner died on May 25, 2021 in Alexandria from heart failure. What he left behind was a long legacy of a lifetime of service to the nation.
Born in Washington D.C. on February 18, 1927, Warner served in the U.S. Navy (USN) from 1944 to 1946. During that time, he was trained in electronics and was honorably discharged as a Petty Officer 3rd Class. After which, he attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.; graduating in 1949.
In 1950, Warner joined the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), where he served during the Korean War until 1952. He served as a first lieutenant, ground officer, with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea. After leaving active service that same year, he served as a reserve member of the USMC until 1956. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain.
During this time, Warner attended University of Virginia Law School, graduating in 1953. That same year, he was admitted to the Washington D.C. bar and practiced as a law clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit for a year.
In 1956, Warner was named an assistant United States attorney; a position in which he held on to until 1960.
After working on the campaign for President Richard Nixon, he was appointed to the position of Under Secretary for the USN; a post in which he served from 1969 to 1972. He then succeeded John H. Chafee to become the Secretary of the Navy on May 4, 1972 and continued until 1974.
Warner was a participant in the Laws of the Seas talks in Geneva during 1971-1973 and negotiated the Incidents at Sea Executive Agreement with the Soviet Union between 1970 and 1972.
From 1974-1976, Warner served on the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration and elected two years later as a Republican in the United States Senate, representing the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Warner would go on to be reelected four more times. During his time in the Senate, he served on the Committee on Rules and Administration and the Committee on Armed Services.
After leaving the Senate, he continued to work as a consultant for the law firm, Hogan Lovells. In 2008, he he endorsed former Virginia Governor Mark Warner when he ran for Senate and endorsed Mark Warner again when he ran for reelection in 2014. In 2018, he endorsed another former Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine, for his successful reelection bid for Senate. In 2020, Warner endorsed Joe Biden for president.
In his personal life, Warner was in relationships with several high profile women. He was first married to banking heiress Catherine Conover Mellon in 1957, where he accrued both investment capital and political contacts. The marriage resulted in three children before their subsequent divorce in 1973.
In 1976, he married actress Elizabeth Taylor in Richmond. The pair was known for visiting Nick’s Seafood Pavilion, which was situated along the Yorktown riverfront. The couple divorced in 1982.
In 2003, Warner married Jeanne Vander Myde, a real estate agent and the widow of Paul Vander Myde, who served as a defense department official during the Reagan administration.
Following Warner’s death, Sens. Warner and Kaine (D-Va.), along with cosponsors cosponsored by Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), introduced a resolution on May 28, 2021 to honor the life and legacy of Sen. John Warner. The U.S. Senate unanimously approved it.
“We will forever remember our dear friend and mentor, John Warner,” said the Senators. “We are deeply humbled that the Senate – where he cherished serving for decades on behalf of Virginians – approved this commemoration, honoring his remarkable life of service to this country and the Commonwealth.”
During the funeral, Warner will be eulogized by Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and also Admiral Mike Mullen.
The Cathedral remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. The funeral will not be open to the public and only those with tickets will be authorized to attend.