Raised in Georgia, Cain 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. Cain 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 Cain 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. Cain, reflecting his father’s drive to seek greater challenges, then set his sights on a corporate presidency.
With this goal ahead of him and his mother’s faith to support him, Cain 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 Cain to the presidency of the then financially troubled Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. chain headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. In 14 short months, under Cain’s leadership, the chain regained profitability. In 1988, he led his executive team in a buyout of the company from Pillsbury.
Cain was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association in 1988. In 1994 to 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 to 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 Cain continued the responsibilities of President and Chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, Incorporated, while beginning a second career delivering national keynote speeches. Using his messages as the foundation, he created his own leadership consulting company, The THE New Voice, Inc. THE New Voice packages his speaking and develops his products, including books, DVDs, CDs of gospel music, and promotes his keynote speeches. He has authored four books to date on topics ranging from leadership to self-empowerment including Leadership is Common Sense and CEO of Self.
In 1996, Cain became CEO and President of the National Restaurant Association. He had been a member of the NRA Board since 1988, and had served as its elected volunteer chairman in 1994/1995. Cain thus became the only volunteer chairman to become the full-time CEO and President of the Association while still a member of the Board. Cain headed the NRA in this position for two and a half years.
In 1999, Cain sought to leverage his restaurant experience with the technology market and he became CEO and President of RetailDNA. Its mission is to provide innovative marketing solutions to the retail sector.
Today, Herman is a radio talk show host on “The Herman Cain Show” out of Atlanta’s WSB 750am and is a FOX News Business Commentator. Cain remains President and CEO of THE New Voice, Inc. and serves on the Boards of Directors for AGCO Corporation, Hallmark Cards Incorporated and Whirlpool Corporation. In 2004, he ran as a candidate for the United States Senate from Georgia.