Purdue alumnus Herman Cain died earlier this week, announced Thursday on his social media accounts and website, after being hospitalized with COVID-19.
Cain graduated from Purdue in 1971 with a master's degree in computer science, after earning his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Morehouse College in 1967. He was the CEO of the Godfather's Pizza chain and a former Republican presidential candidate.
He visited Purdue's campus as recently as in 2015, when he spoke about politics and the American dream. The event was put on by the Purdue University College Republicans, according to previous Exponent reporting.
During his speech, he told students, "You all have a great leader leading this University."
He also spoke on campus in 2011, addressing "a spending crisis" and "an immigration crisis."
Cain's website notes that he was in a high-risk population because of his previous cancer diagnoses.
He recently attended President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he did not don a mask. People have criticized this decision and his tweet prior to the rally stating that “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”
“I’m here to assure young people that the American dream is still alive,” Cain told his Purdue audience in 2015. “You might have to work a little harder and work a little longer, but if you believe it can happen, it will happen.”