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Thu, 12.13.1945

Herman Cain, Businessman born

Herman Cain

*Herman Cain was born on this date in 1945.  He was a Black business executive, syndicated columnist, and conservative activist.  

Herman Cain was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Lenora Davis Cain, a cleaning woman and domestic worker, and Luther Cain, who was raised on a farm.   His father worked as a barber and janitor, and chauffeur for Coca-Cola Company President Robert W. Woodruff. Cain has said that as he was growing up, his family was "poor but happy." Cain related that his mother taught him about her belief that "success was not a function of what you start out with materially, but what you start out with spiritually."   

Cain grew up on the west side of Atlanta, attending school and the Rev. Cameron M. Alexander's Antioch Baptist Church. Eventually, Cain's father saved enough money, and the family moved to a modest brick home on Albert Street in the Collier Heights neighborhood. He attended Archer (public) High School, graduating in 1963.   In 1967, Cain graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.  In 1971, he received a Master of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University while working full-time as a civilian ballistics analyst for the U.S. Department of the Navy.

After this, he began working for Coca-Cola as a computer systems analyst. In 1977, he moved to Minneapolis to join Pillsbury, soon becoming director of business analysis in its restaurant and foods group 1978. During the 1980s, Cain's success as a business executive at Burger King prompted Pillsbury to appoint him as chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, in which capacity he served from 1986 to 1996. 

During this time, Cain was also chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha Branch from 1989 to 1991. He was deputy chairman from 1992 to 1994 and then chairman until 1996 of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In 1995, he was appointed to the Kemp Commission, and in 1996, he served as a senior economic adviser to Bob Dole's presidential campaign. From 1996 to 1999, Cain served as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. 

Politically, in 2011, Cain announced his 2012 presidential candidacy. By the fall, his proposed 9–9–9 tax plan and debating performances had made him a serious contender for the Republican nomination. In November, however, his campaign faced allegations of sexual misconduct—all denied by Cain—and he announced its suspension on December 3. He remained involved in politics afterward.   Herman Cain died in late July 2020 from complications due to COVID-19. 


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