"There aren't many people like Herman Cain, and it behooves us to truly cherish the ones we're given", Dan Calabrese, the editor of hermancain.com, wrote on Thursday.
Cain had survived Stage 4 cancer roughly 14 years ago, but that history made him part of a high risk group for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.
He had been treated for COVID=19 less than two weeks after attending President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June. "He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle", Calabrese reported.
Cain's colorful, long-shot presidential candidacy in 2012 drew the most coverage of all Republican primary candidates. I was right there with him.
"Melania and I loved Herman Cain, a great man", he wrote.
"Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump".
Mr Cain was one of very few prominent African-Americans in the Republican Party.
As a rambunctious businessman with strong conservative opinions, his campaign served as a prototype for Mr Trump's ultimately successful run for president. Politico in October 2011 also reported that Cain had been accused by two women of sexual misconduct while at the NRA in the late 1990s.
Although im bin deny di accuse dem, im popularity suffer and im later suspend im campaign.
Cain held a string of corporate executive positions throughout his life, most prominently from 1986 to 1996 as president and chief executive of Godfather's Pizza, a national chain that he transformed into a success after it had been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
In April 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump briefly considered picking Cain as his nominee to join the Federal Reserve Board, but his nomination was soon withdrawn. Cain wore no mask at the event, which featured thousands of people packed tightly together.