UPDATE, with Trump tweet President Donald Trump called Herman Cain, who died today of COVID-19, an American patriot and “a powerful voice of freedom.”
“My friend Herman Cain, a Powerful Voice of Freedom and all that is good, passed away this morning,” Trump tweeted. “Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me. He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend. I just got off the phone with his amazing wife Gloria, daughter, Melanie, and son Vincent to express my deepest condolences to the entire family.
@FLOTUS Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man. Herman, Rest In Peace!”
Cain, 74, who briefly topped the polls when he was a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012, died of the coronavirus. Newsmax, where Cain was a contributor, announced his death. He was about to launch a television show for Newsmax TV.
It is not known how Cain contracted the virus. He attended President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, OK, where a number of members of the campaign’s advance team tested positive. Cain, who was shown in pictures from the event without a mask, was a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s pizza, garnered traction for his presidential bid in 2012 when he proposed what he called the “9-9-9” plan, which called for a flat 9% income, corporate and sales tax. During the campaign allegations of sexual harassment surfaced from his time as head of the National Restaurant Association. He denied the claims.
Newsmax reported that Cain died at an Atlanta hospital and had been critically ill for several weeks.
Dan Calabrese, editor of Cain’s website, wrote on Thursday, “You’re never ready for the kind of news we are grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek and find God’s strength and comfort to deal with it.
“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.”
Cain was a business executive at Pillsbury, and had success in turning around hundreds of Burger King outlets when the chain was a subsidiary. He was named CEO of another Pillsbury outlet, Godfather’s Pizza, in 1986, and served in that role for ten years.
During that period, Cain also served as chairman of the Omaha branch board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Omaha branch. He was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank from 1992 to 1996, and served in the capacities as deputy chairman and then chairman.