"He kind of followed me around the room a little bit," she said, laughing. "And as the night went on, we finally started to talk then, and he asked me to join him for a drink at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, which, if you've ever been there, you know it's a perfect setting."
She was immediately drawn to his wit. "What I noticed first when I really sat down with him was his humor and his intelligence," she said. "And he was so different from anybody I'd ever met. I also couldn't imagine why he had the least bit of interest in me, because I was so much younger."
John McCain was 18 years her senior. She was only 24 at the time. But they both lied about their age. He said he was four years younger and she said she was four years older.
The following year, they married, shortly after McCain divorced his first wife, Carol.
It was only after getting their marriage license that they found out each other's true age, a revelation Cindy said "didn't matter to either one of us."
When he was a single Navy pilot, McCain had famously gotten the beautiful girls, including a model from Rio de Janeiro. In flight school, McCain drove a Corvette and, according to McCain's friend and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, McCain dated "a girl who worked in a bar as an exotic dancer under the name of Marie, the 'Flame of Florida.'"
John McCain took her to a proper party attended by Navy wives. "She was in a lovely green velvet dress that I'd seen her dance in a couple of times, some of the wives got their noses a little bit out of joint," McCain's friend Adm. Chuck Larson said.
John McCain said, "It was a bit of a cultural shock there. But it was all in fun."
Twenty years later, he was in love with Cindy Hensley. John McCain has since written in one of his books that she made his successes and defeats less important than his happiness with her at home.
Click HERE to watch Diane Sawyer's "Portrait of a President"