In October 2011, a Politico report alleged that two female employees had made complaints about inappropriate behaviour by Cain while he was president and chief executive of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. The women, the report said, had signed non-disclosure agreements that prevented them from saying any more.
Cain furiously denied the allegations, which he described as a “witch hunt” – but more women came forward, and there were also reports that his campaign had been illegally funded by a tax-exempt charity, Prosperity USA, and in December 2011 he announced that he was standing down.
Herman Cain was born on December 13 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee; his mother, Lenora, née Davis, was a domestic cleaner, while his father Luther was a janitor and barber, and chauffeur to the president of Coca-Cola, Robert Woodruff. Herman was brought up in Atlanta, where he attended a Baptist church.
He graduated in Mathematics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, then in 1971 was awarded an MSc in Computer Science from Purdue University while working as a civilian ballistics analyst for the US Navy. He joined Coca-Cola as a systems analyst, then in 1977 joined the Pillsbury food company, where he became director of business analysis.