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CEO DATELINE – Former National Restaurant Association CEO Herman Cain dies

Well-known 2012 Republican presidential candidate was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19

July 30, 2020
By Walt Williams

Business executive and former head of the National Restaurant Association Herman Cain has died after being hospitalized in the Atlanta area with COVID-19, according to his official website. He was 74.

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Cain was best-known for his presidential bid during the 2012 election season, when he lost the Republican primary to Mitt Romney, now a U.S. senator representing Utah. Before that, Cain was CEO of the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999, having previously served on the association’s board of directors and worked as CEO of Nebraska-based restaurant chain Godfather’s Pizza.

Cain’s tenure at the association was short and controversial. Some former staffers accused the CEO of sexual harassment, and the charges dogged his later presidential campaign. Other staffers said they never witnessed any inappropriate behavior.

Cain was first hospitalized with COVID-19 in early July, less than two weeks after attending a campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Okla. The rally was criticized for not taking precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, it is unclear where or when Cain contracted the virus.