Herman Cain is an American success story – in business, in broadcasting, in public life . . . and most importantly for him, as a man of faith and of family. As of 2018 he and his wife Gloria have been married for 50 years, and each day celebrate their two children and four grandchildren.
His success in business, in broadcasting and as a leading voice on public policy stems from his lifetime devotion to hard work, learning, self-improvement and the breaking down of barriers. Herman has never let anyone tell him what he had to think, what his limits should be or whose rules he had to play by – apart from God. He has also never accepted conventional wisdom, which drives some people crazy . . . and that’s just the way Herman likes it.
Many Americans were first introduced to Herman when, in 1994, he participated as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza in a town hall meeting on health care reform hosted by President Bill Clinton. Much to the surprise of everyone in the room, Herman schooled the president on the realities of small business finance and health care – creating a lasting impression that would not soon fade in the minds of business and political leaders.
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Having made that lasting impression, Herman soon fielded offers as a newspaper columnist and radio host. But he made his biggest splash in 2011 when he sought the Republican nomination for president. Much to the surprise of just about everyone – if not Herman himself – he rose to the top of the polls early in the process on the strength of his 9-9-9 tax proposal. It was a radical and exciting idea that would have replaced the entire federal tax code with three simple taxes of 9 percent – one on income, one on business and one on sales. The proposal captured the attention of the nation and sent the political class into a state of upheaval.
Although he did not ultimately win the nomination, his early success proved that an outsider with a business background can indeed make an impact on a president race – something another businessman outsider built on to considerable effect four years later!
But before he did anything in politics, it was Herman’s achievements in the business world that set him apart. Raised in Georgia, Herman adopted the lessons of his parents – dedication to hard work and the importance of faith – and carried them with him to the pinnacle of the corporate world.
Herman earned a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College in 1967, and later earned a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University, while working as a mathematician for the Department of the Navy. He then worked as a business analyst for The Coca-Cola Company. In 1968, he married his wife, Gloria and they have two grown children.
In 1977, Herman joined The Pillsbury Company and, within three years, at the age of 34, rose to the position of Vice President of Corporate Systems and Services. Reflecting his father’s drive to seek greater challenges, Herman then set his sights on a corporate presidency.
With this goal ahead of him and his mother’s faith to support him, Herman resigned his senior position and started on another career path – the restaurant industry. He started from the ground up by making hamburgers at Pillsbury’s Burger King division. Nine months later, he was managing 400 Burger King units in the Philadelphia region, the country’s poorest performer. Within three years, his region had earned the reputation for excellence and was the company’s best.
In 1986, Pillsbury appointed Herman to the presidency of the then-financially troubled Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. chain headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. In 14 short months, under his leadership, the chain regained profitability. In 1988, he led his executive team in a buyout of the company from Pillsbury.
In 1988, Herman was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association, and in 1994-1995, he served as chairman of the Board of Directors. While leading this association, he developed the organization into a pro-business voice via national debates and speeches concerning health care reform, employment policies, and taxation. Following this experience, he was appointed to serve on the Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission in addition serving as Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He then became a senior advisor to the 1996 Dole/Kemp campaign for the presidency.
Herman continued in his responsibilities as president and chairman of Godfather’s Pizza while beginning a second career delivering national keynote speeches. Using his messages as the foundation, he created his own leadership consulting company, THE New Voice, Inc., which packages his speaking and develops his materials. He has also written seven books.
In 1996, Herman became CEO and president of the National Restaurant Association, thus becoming the only volunteer chairman to also become the organization’s full-time CEO and president while still a member of the board. He headed the NRA in this position for two and a half years.
After seeking the presidency in 2011, Herman formed Cain Solutions Revolution, which worked with political and business leaders at the national level to promote problem-solving policy ideas. In 2012, he was tapped by Cox Media Group to succeed the popular Neal Boortz as host of the latter’s popular syndicated radio show – a show Herman continues hosting to this day. He also continues to write and deliver keynote speeches across the nation, while appearing regularly as a Fox News Contributor.
He continues to serve as an ordained associate minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta.