Herman Cain


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Herman Cain, 65, is a businessman, radio host, minister and author from Georgia. This was his his second run for the presidency. Cain ended his campaign on December 3, blaming media attention to allegations of improper sexual conduct.

Cain, whose mother was a cleaning woman and whose father was a chauffeur, is a self-styled conservative and champion of limited government. In 1994, as president of Godfather’s Pizza Inc., he challenged President Bill Clinton at a forum on the administration’s proposed health-care overhaul, arguing that its employer mandate would hurt small businesses.

Armed with degrees in mathematics from Morehouse College in Atlanta and computer science from Purdue University in Indiana and the can-do zeal of a preacher (he is an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta), Cain established a business reputation as a turnaround specialist.

He began his career as a business analyst at Coca-Cola Co., moving to Pillsbury Co. in 1977. Several years later he left his job as a corporate vice president to join Burger King, a Pillsbury subsidiary, where he led the revival of the chain’s struggling outlets in Philadelphia. He achieved similar success with Godfather’s, another Pillsbury subsidiary, in the mid 1980s. In 1986, he became president and chief executive officer of the pizza chain, a position he held until 1996, when he joined the National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group, as its chief executive officer.

Politics has proven more challenging. In 1996, after serving as a member and chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, Missouri, Cain joined the campaign of Senator Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee, as a senior economic adviser. Until early this year he was the host of “The Herman Cain Show,” a conservative talk show on WSB Radio in Atlanta.

Cain briefly sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, and four years later he finished second in the primary for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia. He announced the formation of an exploratory committee for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in January and won the Florida Republican straw poll on Sept. 24 and the Illinois Tea Party straw poll on Oct. 3.

Cain, who has written four books, lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Gloria Cain. They have two grown children.

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