ATLANTA — Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, a political commentator who also served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, has died following a battle with the novel coronavirus.
“Herman Cain — our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us — has passed away. He’s entering the presence of the Savior he’s served as an associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, and preparing for his reward,” Dean Calabrese, editor of HermanCain.com, announced on Cain’s website on Thursday.
Calabrese said that Cain’s friends and family knew that it would be a “rough fight” as he was having trouble breathing and his body wasn’t reacting to the initial medical treatment as hoped.
He also explained that Cain was at high risk of becoming ill from the virus since he had previously fought cancer. Cain was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in 2006 and given a 30% chance of survival, but overcame the disease and was declared cancer-free a year later. Calabrese stated that Cain was “basically pretty healthy in recent years.”
In the midst of his battle with COVID this month, “[t]here were hopeful indicators, including a mere five days ago when doctors told us they thought he would eventually recover, although it wouldn’t be quick,” Calabrese outlined.
“We were relieved to be told that, and passed on the news via Herman’s social media. And yet we also felt real concern about the fact that he never quite seemed to get to the point where the doctors could advance him to the recovery phase.”
“We all prayed so hard every day,” he said. “We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery.”
Cain died on Thursday morning. He was 74.
From 1986 to 1996, Cain served at the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza after successfully managing hundreds of Burger King franchises in the Philadelphia area. He went on to serve as the CEO of the National Restaurant Association and also was on the board of directors for other major corporations, including Nabisco, Whirlpool and Reader’s Digest.
Cain additionally became involved in the political sphere, serving as a senior advisor to Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996 and running for president himself in 2012. He also ran for Senate in 2004.
In 2012, he began writing for Newsmax, and in 2013, Cain became a contributor for Fox News. His television show, “Herman Cain’s America”, launched just last month on Newsmax TV.
While he identified as conservative, the church where Cain served is known for its liberalism and was in disagreement with his political stances. Cain had attended Antioch Baptist Church as a child and later returned, being installed as an associate minister in 2002. He recorded a gospel album in 2011 called “Sunday Morning.”
“Like most ministers, I felt called to preach the word of God and minister to the least, the last, and the lost, and minister to His people,” he told Christianity Today in 2011.
“Herman asked us to let you know again how much he appreciates all your prayers,” they wrote on July 7. “He’s still in an Atlanta-area hospital, where doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right. This is a tough virus, but we serve a tougher God. Herman wants to get back in action soon, so please continue praying!”
Earlier this week, it was advised that Cain was “still in the hospital being treated with oxygen for his lungs. In the meantime, the doctors say his other organs and systems are strong.” His death was announced on Thursday with much sorrow.