Herman Cain Epitomized 'Everything That’s Good About America,' Says Director of Doc Film


Barry Tolli, director of the documentary film “From Poor to CEO: The Incredible Journey of Herman Cain,” says the former presidential candidate and business leader led the quintessential American life.

“He represents everything that’s good about America,” Tolli told Fox News in a Sunday interview while promoting the film along with Cain’s daughter, Melanie Cain Gallo.

“He’s just an incredibly inspiring person. I knew about Herman, I knew 9-9-9, I knew all that stuff, his personality,” the director recounted of his old boss, who died of complications from COVID-19 in July.

“When I met him, I just got to find out more and more about his story, because he was such a humble man as well,” Tolli added.

From Poor to CEO” chronicles Cain’s improbable rise from a lower-income, working-class family in Atlanta to CEO of Godfather’s Pizza to chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to president of the National Restaurant Association and later to candidate for president of the United States.

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The businessman’s parents — Luther (a barber, janitor and chauffeur) and Lenora (a domestic worker) — had two big dreams for their family: to buy a house and to see their two sons graduate from college.

Through hard work, both dreams came to pass.

“He obviously grew up in the segregated South, and so he experienced all of the things that we hear about from those times, but he made it his work to overcome those barriers,” Gallo said.

“And when he would face a challenge, he would pray and he would work and he would focus and use that to drive him past whatever barriers that would come his way.”

“The main thing behind anything he did was faith and family,” Gallo said. “That drove all of his decisions in business and in every area of his life. It always boiled down to his faith and his family, and that’s exactly what this documentary highlights.”

Tolli told The Western Journal “From Poor to CEO” uses a mixture of archival footage, animations, interviews and footage of visits to the locations that were key in Cain’s life.

“When I really got to spend time with him personally, I saw what a unique individual and how special he was, and how he impacted everybody that he came around,” said Tolli, who also worked with Cain on his daily online program for The Western Journal before the conservative icon’s passing.

“Everybody that he saw, he met at 100 percent,” the director added. “He didn’t care what your race was, what your religion was or what your political background was, he met you at 100 as a human being. He loved you.”

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You can watch the incredible journey of Herman Cain by clicking here.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith