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Herman Cain explained

Herman Cain is on a roll. Off a solid performance in Thursday night’s debate, the former Godfathers’ Pizza CEO won a straw poll in Florida — one that has predicted the Republican presidential nominee every time it’s been held. It’s still very unlikely that Cain will continue that streak. But he’s not thinking of dropping out anymore. So who is Herman Cain, and how did he get here?

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain talks to reporters as dozens of Tea Party supporters rally near the U.S. Capitol against raising the debt limit in Washington, July 27, 2011. (JONATHAN ERNST - REUTERS)

Cain, 65, grew up in Georgia and graduated from Morehouse College; he has a master’s in computer science from Purdue University. His business career started at the Coca-Cola Company. From there, he went to Philadelphia and managed to turn the city’s Burger Kings profitable.

That success led him to his best known post: stabilizing the Nebraska-based Godfather’s Pizza franchise, which he took over in 1986 after managing to turn around Burger King in Philadelphia. At Godfather’s, Cain cut some troubled franchises, launched some inventive advertising campaigns and got rid of unpopular menu items.

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