Baltimore Representative and civil rights advocate Elijah Cummings has died unexpectedly at age 68.
What We Know:
- Born in Baltimore on January 18th to sharecropper parents Ruth Elma and Robert Cummings, Cummings worked his way into politics slowly but surely. He graduated with honors from the Baltimore City College high school before moving on to graduate from Howard University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
- Cummings received his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law, then practiced law for 19 years prior to being elected in the Maryland House of Delegates. While serving in the House, Cummings became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the 2nd highest position in the House of Delegates.
- Cummings was a 12-term congressman for Maryland’s 7th congressional district, serving as chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform as well as serving on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He was also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus.
- As chair of the Oversight Committee, Cummings has been a key figure in the subpoenaing and investigative efforts into White House matters, more recently involving the Mueller report, William Barr’s testimony (or lack thereof), and the now on-hold Impeachment Inquiry. He was also frequently at the end of Trump’s Twitter fingers including the viral response he gave to Trump calling his home city a “rat and rodent-infested.”
- In a statement on Sept. 30, Cummings said his doctors expected him to be able to return to Washington “when the House comes back into session in two weeks” but maintained he’d be in “constant communication” with his staff and congressional colleagues while he was out. He had failed to return from an unspecified medical procedure and missed two legislative roll call votes on Tuesday. Cummings died at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to a statement released by his office.
This is a tremendous loss to the world and his community and our prayers are with his wife, daughter, family, and friends.
Statement regarding the passing of @RepCummings : “He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity… I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.” — @MayaRockeymoore pic.twitter.com/OLXVdHydoO
— MD Democratic Party (@mddems) October 17, 2019