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Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings Has Joined the Ancestors

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings Has Joined the Ancestors

Another giant has joined the ancestors. Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings died on Thursday morning at John Hopkins Hospital, Fox 5 News reports. He was 68.

Cummings entered the Maryland statehouse in 1983, blazing a trail that made him the first Black House speaker pro tem. He advocated for his constituents in Baltimore on the state level for 13 years before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1996 after Kwesi Mfume left office to lead the NAACP.

The son of a sharecropper, Cummings overcame obstacles and challenges from an early age. In grade school a counselor told him he would never realize his dream of becoming a lawyer because he was too slow to learn and spoke poorly. He used the comments as motivation as he set out to become a well respected attorney and a powerful orator.

As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings was responsible for leading the investigations of the president's administration and business practices. The position and the power that came with it made him the target of a Twitter attack by the president that sought to dehumanize Black people in Baltimore. However, Cummings didn’t let the incident deter him, instead he doubled down and made his commitment clear.

He wrote a responded in a letter stating, “Mr. President, I go home to my district daily...Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors."

Cummings also wanted to make sure the comments made by the president didn’t negatively affect the kids in the same way he worked to make sure his grade school counselor’s comments didn’t derail him. At the unveiling of a new green space in Baltimore he directed his words towards the future generation.

“I do not have time for people who want to trash our city, but I do have time for our kids.” He continued, ““I say to you our children, don’t let anybody take away your hope, don’t let them take away your hope. I don’t care who they are. And let no one define you, no one!”

The Maryland Democratic Party released a statement addressing the Cummings' passing early Thursday morning:

It is with great sadness and a heavy collective heart that we announce the passing of Chairman Elijah Eugene Cummings. He was a father, a husband, a son of Baltimore, and a Statesman who served Maryland's 7th Congressional District for more than 20 years, and served 16 years prior to that as a Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly.

It is with great sadness and a heavy collective heart that we announce the passing of Chairman Elijah Eugene Cummings. He was a father, a husband, a son of Baltimore, and a Statesman who served Maryland's 7th Congressional District for more than 20 years, and served 16 years prior to that as a Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly.

Chairman Cummings will always be remembered for dedicating his life's work to improving the lives of others, standing up for his community, and protecting our Democracy.

"Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem. It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly,” Democratic Party Chair, also Cummings’ wife, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said.

Our hearts are broken over the loss of such a dynamic figure in American politics. And we ask the public and the press to allow Maryland Democratic Party Chair Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings -- and the rest of the Cummings family -- time and space to grieve their loss.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Cummings received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Howard University where he also served as student government president. He later went on to obtain his law degree from the University of Maryland.

He leaves behind his wife, Dr. Maya Rockeymore Cummings, a daughter from his first marriage, Jennifer Cummings, and thousands of people in charm city and beyond who love and appreciate him for being an advocate for people in the inner city and a true example of leadership and perseverance.