Herman Cain, the former president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and later presidential candidate, died on Thursday. He was 74.
Cain contracted COVID-19 after attending a rally for President Trump in Tulsa, Okla., in June, where he posted pictures of himself and others around him not wearing facial coverings. Officials, however, have not confirmed where he might have been exposed to the virus.
“Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us — has passed away,” wrote Dan Calabrese, editor of his website, on Thursday.
According to the post on his website, Cain, who had a history of cancer, developed coronavirus symptoms and had trouble breathing. He was taken to the hospital, where he appeared to improve but then later his condition worsened.
“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 wrote. “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 was the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and he also served first as voluntary chair of the NRA in 1994, but left Godfather’s in 1996 to become the first Black president and CEO of the association until 1999.
A vocal conservative, Cain announced a bid for the White House in 2011, pushing a pro-business agenda. He later suspended the campaign after facing allegations of sexual harassment — which he denied — while at the NRA.
Most recently, Cain had become a political commentator with a show on Newsmax after serving as a contributor on Fox News for a few years. He was also co-chair of Black Voices for Trump.
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