Republican Herman Cain, who ran for president in 2012, has died after contracting Covid-19.
The 74-year-old was hospitalized after being diagnosed with the disease earlier this month.
A message posted on his official website said: “Herman Cain – our boss, our friend, like a father to so many of us – has passed away.”
Herman Cain, who in 2006 survived late-stage colon cancer, is one of the best-known US victims of Covid-19.
His social media accounts had been providing regular updates on his condition. On July 7, a post from his Twitter account said “doctors are trying to make sure his oxygen levels are right”.
“This is a tough virus,” it said.
“Please continue praying.”
Herman Cain appeared without a mask at a rally held by President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.
He was admitted to hospital with coronavirus on July 1, though it is unclear when or where he caught the infection.
President Trump paid tribute to Herman Cain on July 30 at the White House, saying: “He was a very special person… and unfortunately he passed away from a thing called the China virus.”
Herman Cain was born in Tennessee to a father who worked three jobs as a janitor, chauffeur and barber, and a mother who worked as a servant. He went on to study for a degree in maths and a master’s in computing.
He worked variously as a Baptist minister, a radio talk show host and as a businessman.
Herman Cain was an advocate of a flat tax system – his 9-9-9 plan – and ran for office after a stint as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.
During his run, he told reporters he would not stand for any “gotcha questions”.
“And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, I’m going to say you know, I don’t know. Do you know?”
Herman Cain initially proved popular, but later found himself at the centre of a number of harassment allegations.
Although he denied the accusations against him, his popularity soon suffered and he suspended his campaign. Mitt Romney later became the Republican candidate in an unsuccessful race against President Barack Obama’s bid for a second term in office. In 2019, President Trump sounded Herman Cain out to sit on the Federal Reserve Board, but he withdrew his nomination after several Republican senators refused to back his appointment.