Former presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain has died at the age of 74 after a monthlong battle with the coronavirus, according to his website.
“Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away,” HermanCain.com editor Dan Calabrese wrote in a post on the site Thursday morning. Newsmax, where Cain was soon set to launch a weekly show, confirmed the news.
Cain, a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012, attended President Donald Trump’s much-criticized Tulsa, Oklahoma rally on June 20, which drew about 6,000 people. A co-chair for the group Black Voices for Trump, Cain sent out a tweet that day with an image of himself surrounded by a bunch of people not wearing masks (including himself).
COVID cases spiked in the county in the weeks after the rally.
Cain had “a whirlwind travel schedule in June, stopping in multiple cities,” according to Newsmax. He’d officially joined the conservative network as a contributor in April and was set to host a weekly Saturday show called “Herman Cain’s America” beginning in June, though it’s unclear if it ever aired.
Cain had been hospitalized since July 1. On July 27, Cain’s representatives running his Twitter account gave an update saying the doctors were treating Cain with oxygen for his lungs.
“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,” Calabrese said. “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.”
In 2006, Cain was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, from which he ultimately recovered. Calabrese noted that his history with cancer put him in the “high-risk group” for those with COVID-19.
Cain briefly emerged as a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 before suspending his campaign in December following allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied. In 2019, the former candidate — who was the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from 1995 to 1996 — was considered by Trump for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.
Cain withdrew his name from consideration because the pay cut was too large, he said at the time.
This story will be updated as more details come in.
Cover: Radio Journalist honoree: Herman Cain, host of “The Herman Cain Show,” speaks at the Third Annual Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (Photo by Cheriss May/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)