From grocery clerk to GOP hopeful.
Cain demonstrates his charisma early in life, delivering his first public speech in his hometown church at age 8.
Hired at 16 as a grocery-store clerk with dreams of one day owning two American Express cards.
Voted "most likely to succeed" at Samuel Howard Archer High School in Atlanta.
Attends Morehouse College, Martin Luther King Jr.'s alma mater, but largely sits out the civil-rights movement.
Lands a job interview with Coca-Cola after his father, a chauffeur for the CEO, calls in a favor; he's hired as a systems analyst.
Starts at Pillsbury, where he rises quickly through the ranks. Eventually he decides to move to the Burger King subsidiary.
Advances from burger flipper to regional vice president on a fast-track program for aspiring Burger King executives.
Named head of Godfather's Pizza, which he saves from bankruptcy with store closures and cost cutting. …