6 Things You Didn't Know about Herman Cain

6 Things You Didn't Know about Herman Cain

October 17th, 2011 EMMET SULLIVAN, Parade in Local - Breaking News

Herman Cain

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

POLL: Who would be the best GOP candidate to run against President Obama?

The race for the Republican Presidential nomination is far from over. Businessman Herman Cain, who was once considered a long shot, now finds himself leading in the polls -- including a new Rasmussen Report showing him beating President Barack Obama 43% to 41%.

Here are six things you may not know about the new frontrunner.

1. He grew up poor in Georgia

Herman and his brother, Thurman, were the only children of Luther and Lenora Cain. The family lived in Atlanta for most of Cain's life, where Luther worked as a chauffeur for Coca-Cola. The family could not afford the 25-cent school lunches, so Lenora frequently packed biscuits filled with leftover meat or fat. Cain eventually finished second in his class in high school and received a bachelor's degree in science from Morehouse College and a Master's degree from Purdue University.

2. He and his wife were college sweethearts

Cain was introduced to Gloria Etchison through a mutual friend, and the two married shortly after she graduated from college. They have two children and three grandchildren together. But don't expect to see Gloria Cain around the campaign trail too much. "My wife is one of the most unassuming, not-looking-for-the-limelight-people you've ever met," he told the Daily Caller in May. "And I'm going to keep it that way. I'm not going to push her out there to try to do things she doesn't want to do. That's not her personality."

3. He has a long resume

Cain has never held elected office, but he certainly has held many other positions in his life. He is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a former deputy chairman (1992-94) and chairman (1995-96) of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He was also a senior economic advisor to the Dole/Kemp campaign in 1996.

4. This isn't his first time running

Cain briefly ran for President in 2000, but pulled out of the race. "George W. Bush was the chosen one," Cain told Politics Daily. "He had the campaign DNA that followers look for...I believe that I had a better message and I believe that I was the better messenger." He then ran against Sen. Isakson in the Georgia Senate race in 2004, but only received 26% of the vote.

5. He was an early viral video star

Cain rose to national prominence when, during a televised video chat, he challenged President Bill Clinton on his health care plan. As president-elect of the National Restaurant Association, Cain pressed Clinton on the details of the ultimately doomed 1994 health care plan. Ironically, one of the men praising Cain for his stance was one of his current rivals, Mitt Romney.

6. He's a John Lennon fan

Or maybe a karaoke fan? In 1992, Cain, then the head of Godfather's Pizza, offered his twist on a Lennon classic, singing "Imagine There's No Pizza." Sample lyrics: "Imagine there's no pizza / I couldn't if I tried / Eating only tacos / Or Kentucky Fried."