Herman Cain, the Godfather’s Pizza chief who launched an improbable run for the White House, has died of coronavirus. He was 74.
Cain briefly vaulted to the top of the pack of Republic presidential contenders in 2011 on the strength of his catchy 9–9–9 tax plan, which advocated replacing taxes with a 9% personal income tax, 9% federal sales tax, and a 9% corporate tax.
Cain’s rise was short-lived, however. His campaign was derailed after five different women accused him of sexual harassment, allegations that Cain denied. Mitt Romney went on to win the nomination, only to lose to Barack Obama in the general election.
News of Cain’s death was shared on his website. Earlier this week, Cain’s social media channels said he was being treated with oxygen in his lungs. Cain was a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006.
Cain was on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and served as CEO of the National Restaurant Association. President Donald Trump briefly floated the possibility that he would name Cain to the Federal Reserve Board, but it became clear that the sexual harassment allegations against him would likely torpedo his nomination.
Cain attended the president’s indoor rally in Oklahoma in June and was hospitalized on July 1. He said it was unclear when he had contracted the virus.