Herman Cain was a retired businessman and lobbyist from Georgia who in 2011 ran for the Republican nomination for president. Herman Cain came to politics late in life, rising to prominence after a public debate in 1994 with President Bill Clinton
over the president's plan to reform health care. At the time, Cain was the chairman on the board of directors of the National Restaurant Association, a lobbying group, and the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Godfather's Pizza chain. Cain grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College (1967) and a graduate degree in computer science from Indiana's Purdue University (1971). After working as a civilian analyst for the U.S. Navy, Cain worked in the early 1970s for the Coca-Cola Company and then joined Pillsbury in 1977, where he worked his way up to the position of vice president. He had great success running hundreds of Burger King restaurants (at the time a subsidiary of Pillsbury), and Pillsbury made him president of their Godfather's Pizza chain in 1986. He and a team of investors managed a buyout in 1988, and he joined the National Restaurant Association's board that same year. Cain resigned his post at Godfather's in 1996 to act as the Association's full-time president and to work as an economic adviser to the unsuccessful Republican candidates for president and vice president, Bob Dole
and Jack Kemp. After leaving the National Restaurant Association in 1999, Herman Cain joined the world of politics as a columnist, author and on-the-air commentator. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004, and in 2008 landed his own radio show out of Atlanta. By 2010 Cain was a popular speaker at political rallies for what was called the "tea party movement," a group of disaffected conservatives drawn to Cain for his views on taxes (he didn't like them), abortions (he didn't like them), and President Barack Obama
's policies (he didn't like them). Cain announced in May of 2011 that he would run for president. He suspended his campaign in December of 2011, after he was accused of sexual misconduct during his time at the National Restaurant Association, and after another woman came forward to say she and Cain had carried on a multi-year affair. Herman Cain returned to the headlines as an avid supporter of President Donald Trump after Trump took office in 2017. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Cain attended a re-election rally for Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, famously disregarding safeguards such as a face mask and physical distancing. Nine days later, Cain tested positive for the virus. He was hospitalized July 2, 2020, but never recovered.