Herman Cain, who was a Donald Trump surrogate prominent republican and former presidential candidate in his own right, has died of COVID-19 at the age of 74.
It is unclear where Cain contracted the disease. However, he was among several thousand people, most of whom did not wear masks, who attended a Trump campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20. Cain, who co-chaired Black Voices for Trump, was pictured maskless and not socially distancing at the event.
A statement on his website broke the sad news. The statement read, “you’re never ready for the kind of story we are grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek 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 and preparing for his reward.
Romans 2:6-7 says: “God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life.” By that measure, we expect the boss is in for some welcome because all of us who knew him are well aware of how much good he did.
Let me deal with some of the particulars of the last few weeks. We knew when Cain first got hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a tough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear that he was in for a battle.
We didn’t release detailed updates on his condition to the public or the media because neither his family nor we thought there was any reason to make a report. 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. We were relieved to be told that and passed on the news via Herman’s social media. And yet we also felt real concern that he never quite seemed to get to the point where the doctors could advance him to the recovery phase.
Herman was 74. Although Herman Cain was pretty healthy in recent years, he was still in a high-risk group because of his history with cancer. We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery.
Herman Cain was hospitalized with COVID-19 on June 29
Herman had just started hosting a new show on Newsmax TV. He was so excited about it, and so pumped up about playing a role in the 2020 election campaign. At an age when a lot of people are looking to slow down, Herman Cain was taking on new projects, booking speaking opportunities. Ever the dealmaker, he would fill me in with details of his negotiations with people on any number of things. I would always tell him I should have him negotiate my deals with my business’s other clients because he did them better than anyone.
The last time I talked to him was when he was getting ready to start the Newsmax show. He was pumped about it, and I was happy for him because he’d walked away from a sweet contributor gig at Fox a couple of years early to head a Super PAC. When that ran its course, Herman wanted to get back into TV, which afforded him an excellent opportunity. Alas, he only ever got to host one episode.
But there was so much more to him than the public saw and certainly more than the media presented. Most people heard of Herman for the first time when he ran for president in 2011. What they didn’t know was his business background. They didn’t know how he had started his career as a civilian employee of the Navy. It was funny to us because sometimes political pundits portrayed him as kind of a goof – having no idea that during his time working for the Navy, he was a rocket scientist.
Many people don’t know about his years climbing the corporate ladder at Pillsbury, at Burger King, and finally as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. I will always remember the first time I became aware of him. It was 12 years before I worked with him for the first time. It was the now-famous encounter between Herman and Bill Clinton in which the boss schooled the president on the finer points of small-business finance, and I can’t describe it any better than I can just let you watch it: