Cain frequently spoke about his childhood, describing his father to Atlanta Magazine as a hard-working man who worked several jobs to provide for his family during segregation in the South.
His death was announced Thursday on his website.
The Co-Chair of Black Voices for Trump was considered a high-risk patient due to his history with cancer, Axios said. His COVID-19 results came shortly after he attended a rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa, the outlet continued, in which he tweeted a photo of himself without a mask.
Herman Cain embodied the American Dream and represented the very best of the American spirit.
Our hearts grieve for his loved ones, and they will remain in our prayers at this time. We will never forget his legacy of grace, patriotism, and faith.
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) July 30, 2020
Cain was a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and board chairman of a branch of Kansas City’s Federal Reserve Bank, according to CNBC. He later transitioned into Republican politics and ran for president in 2012, Ballotpedia added.
CNBC described the politician as one of the “highest-profile public figures in the United States to have died from Covid-19.”
Cain leaves behind his wife, Gloria Etchison; two children, Melanie and Vincent, and several grandchildren.
Here is everything you need to know about Herman Cain’s family:
1. Growing Up, Cain Said His Family Was ‘Poor But Happy’
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Cain was born to Lenora Davis Cain, a domestic worker and cleaning woman, and Luther Cain, Jr., a farm boy who later chauffeured for Coca-Cola Company President Robert W. Woodruff, the International Business Times reported.
Cain characterized his family as “poor but happy,” the outlet continued.
IBT said Cain’s father worked three jobs in order to achieve his “version of the American dream,” including owning his own home.
“My father never looked for a government program, a government handout. I never heard my father complain about somebody owing him anything,” Cain said in a Parade Magazine interview, International Business Times reported. “All I ever saw was how hard my father worked to get what he wanted out of life.”
2. Cain Met His Wife While They Were Students at Two Historically Black Colleges
The outlet reported that Cain first saw his future wife, an Atlanta native, on a street corner while he was working at a grocery store. The two went on their first date nearly a year later and hadn’t looked back since.
They wed in June 1968, a month after Gloria’s graduation, The Atlantic continued.
3. Although Gloria Worked as a Teacher & Librarian, She Assumed the Role of a Full Time Homemaker
For most of their marriage, Gloria operated as a full time homemaker, The Atlantic reported. Cain had been vocal on numerous occasions about his appreciation for his wife and her “unassuming” nature.
“Throughout our life together, she has been primarily the person who has taken care of the home because I moved around a lot,” Cain told the outlet.
According to the Atlantic, Cain described his wife during his presidential campaign as follows:
My wife represents that calm and tranquility that I look forward to seeing when I get home. She will be introduced in terms of some limited exposure, but it’s not her style for her to be with me on every campaign stop because, number one, it’s grueling, and I want her to continue to be the nucleus for that calm and tranquility that you want for your family. I’m an unconventional candidate, as you know, and we’re running an unconventional campaign, and the involvement of my family is also going to be unconventional, although you will see them on a selected basis.
4. The Couple has Two Grown Children & Three Grandchildren
Cain and his wife have a daughter, Melanie, born in 1971, and a son, Vincent, born in 1977, according to NBC News.
As Gloria assumed her role as homemaker, she sought to offer the children stability while Cain worked long hours, the station indicated.
They now have three grandchildren.
5. Cain Has Written Frequently About His Father, Luther Cain, Jr.
According to Atlanta Magazine, Herman has “written and spoken widely about his admiration for his late father.”
Luther Cain, Jr. moved his family from Memphis to Atlanta in the late 1940s, working a variety of jobs to support them, the magazine indicated.
The father worked as “a barber, a janitor and a chauffeur in the segregated South to support his family—has become a central part of the Cain campaign’s rags-to-riches mythology,” Atlanta Magazine wrote.