The Honorable John McCain, United States Senator (R-AZ)
Mo Udall was an extraordinary human being who lived an extraordinary life. Of humble beginnings, the son of St. Johns, Arizona, rose to become one of the most influential and beloved legislators in the history of our Republic. For over 30 years, Mo Udall graced our national and political life with his sweet humility, gentle kindness and legendary wit. His legacy endures in the halls of the Congress.
When I first came to Washington, I was fortunate to have Mo Udall, one of the nation’s best known conservationists, extend his friendship to me. In those days, House Republicans, especially younger Republicans such as myself, were frustrated with the lack of opportunities in what then looked like a permanent Democratic Majority. But Mo, then Chairman of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, reached out and offered to work with me. Mo had no reason to enlist my involvement; it brought him no political gain. He did it because he understood that diverse viewpoints would yield solutions to complex problems that would benefit not only Arizona, but the nation. To this day, Mo’s integrity and talent inspires me and many others to make this Nation and our world a better place to live.
I have spent much of my time in Washington trying to emulate his statesman qualities and compassion as an advocate for Native American education and tribal government sovereignty. I am proud to have sponsored legislation that established the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. The Foundation carries forward their legacy of public service, Native American self-governance policy, and environmental stewardship.