Herman Cain, a business executive who rose to prominence during his failed bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, died Thursday from coronavirus-related complications. He was 74.
Cain was admitted last month to an Atlanta-area hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, two weeks after attending President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us — has passed away,” said Dan Calabrese, the editor of Cain’s website. “We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery.”
The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, who also once owned and operated more than 400 Burger King restaurants, briefly surged to the top tier of candidates during his White House bid with his “9-9-9” tax plan.
Cain, an avid Trump supporter who served as co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, attended the June 20 rally in Tulsa, where he was one of the president’s surrogates. Photos from the event show little social distancing and many attendees, including Cain, not wearing masks.
The late businessman also had a history of cancer, a preexisting condition that makes one more susceptible to the coronavirus.
Born Dec. 13, 1945, Cain has served as a columnist and radio host. He also served as chairman of the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Prior to a successful business and economics career, Cain worked as a mathematician in ballistics for the U.S. Navy.