Not being American, I didn't know much about John McCain until quite recently. His biography is pretty amazing. He spent six, very uncomfortable years in a Vietnamese POW camp and, bizarrely, was in the plane that started the Forrestal fire after it was hit by a missile fired by another American plane. 134 soldiers died. He also survived several other crashes including flying, not particular reason, into power cables.
Completely unrelated, but a story that inspires a similar WTF feeling, is Roman Polanski's weird biography. Last night I watched The Pianist –which is really excellent- and I remembered that he won the Oscar for best director but couldn't accept it because he'd get arrested if he ever came back to America. Turns out that he pleaded guilty to drugging and sleeping with (raping) a 13 year old girl.*
It's not enough that he's a great director (he also directed Chinatown) and a child rapist, he's also a holocaust survivor (his mother and sister didn't survive) and in 1968 his 8 month pregnant wife was murdered by the fucking Manson family. What the hell?
*Polanski is full of dark tales of blackmail by the girl's mother and fear of a possible 50 year term causing him to plead guilty to the rape, a bit of searching didn't reveal any especially determined denials though. He still enjoys a lot of support from loads of places though and gets to do prestigious projects with excellent talent.