Herman Cain, former Republican presidential candidate and ex-CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, has died of coronavirus at 74, according to an obituary posted on his website. He was hospitalized earlier this month. Last week, his Twitter account posted that he was “being treated with oxygen for his lungs” but that he was getting better.
"We honestly have no idea where he contracted it,” Dan Calabrese, the editor of Cain's website since 2012, said. As co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, Cain attended Trump’s Tulsa, OK rally on June 20, where he posted a photo of himself not wearing a mask. At least eight Trump staffers tested positive for the virus following the rally and Tulsa itself saw a surge in new cases afterwards, though a Trump spokesperson told CNN that the president did not meet with Cain at the rally.
“I realize people will speculate about the Tulsa rally, but Herman did a lot of traveling the past week, including to Arizona where cases are spiking," Calabrese wrote in a post earlier this month. Cain was considered high risk for the disease due to his age and the fact that he was a cancer survivor.
Cain was born December 13, 1945, in Memphis, Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Gloria, their two children, Melanie and Vincent, and grandchildren.
Cain was a former Fox News contributor and was in the process of launching a new show on Newsmax TV, which filmed one episode before Cain contracted Covid-19. Cain launched his bid for president in 2011, running on a tax reform platform he called 9-9-9 — it would replace nearly all current taxes with a 9% income tax, a 9% corporate tax and a 9% national sales tax. He eventually ended his bid amid sexual harassment allegations, which he denied. They included paying settlements to accusers, accusations of groping, and a 13-year extramarital affair. In 2019, Trump nominated Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors.
“Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit,” White House Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany said on Twitter. “We will never forget his legacy of grace, patriotism, and faith.”