Herman Cain, a former GOP Presidential candidate and business czar, has died from complications of the coronavirus. He was 74.
His website announced that Cain died Thursday morning after a month-long battle with COVID-19. He was hospitalized on July 1, two days after testing positive for the virus.
“Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away. He’s entering the presence of the Savior he’s served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta for, and preparing for his reward,” his website’s editor Dan Calabrese wrote of his passing.
Cain was a survivor of stage 4 colon cancer and was the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and a chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City before moving into Republican politics. He was briefly considered by President Trump as his nominee to join the federal reserve board.
It is not known where Cain contracted the coronavirus, but experts say it can take up to two weeks before symptoms present, and 11 days before he tested positive, he attended the divisive Trump rally held in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 20. Notably, on the day of, he was photographed at the event without wearing a mask. And a week later just ahead of Trump’s July 4 rally at Mt. Rushmore, Cain tweeted anti-mask sentiments in an expression of support of the rally. The specifically anti-mask tweet was deleted three days before his death; see a screenshot below:
And on Wednesday, his account also tweeted that Americans were “skeptical” of coronavirus because the government and media had “incinerated” their credibility.
Cain’s website released additional information about his fight with coronavirus, saying that when he was first admitted to the hospital he had trouble breathing and would be “in for a battle.”
“We didn’t release detailed updates on his condition to the public or to the media because neither his family nor we thought there was any reason for that,” Calabrese wrote. “There were hopeful indicators, including a mere five days ago when doctors told us they thought he would eventually recover, although it wouldn’t be quick. We were relieved to be told that, and passed on the news via Herman’s social media. And yet we also felt real concern about the fact that he never quite seemed to get to the point where the doctors could advance him to the recovery phase.”
Cain had recently joined Newsmax TV and was set to launch a weekly TV show, and he had also been a contributor on Fox News.
Early polls in the 2012 Presidential campaign showed Cain to be a leading candidate, becoming popular for his energetic debate performances and his 9-9-9 tax proposal. Though he began to lose momentum and was also derailed after Politico reported that two women had accused Cain of inappropriate sexual comments and behavior, accusations Cain denied.
Cain was a graduate of Morehouse College and got a Masters of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University. He began his career rising in the ranks at Burger King. His success at Burger King, then a subsidiary of Pillsbury, prompted the company to name him CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, which he led for 10 years between 1986 and 1996.
While serving as the president-elect of the National Restaurant Association in 1993, Cain famously sparred with President Bill Clinton and helped lead to the defeat of Clinton’s health care plan, one of his first major forays into politics and television. Calabrese shared a video from their debate in the announcement of his death.
“Herman could handle himself in a situation like that because he knew who he was, and he wasn’t intimidated by anyone, including the president of the United States,” Calabrese wrote. “I’m sorry I had to bring you bad news this morning. But the good news is that we had a man so good, so solid, so full of love and faith . . . that his death hits us this hard. Thank God for a man like that.”