U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings dies
by Harvest Prude
Posted 10/17/19, 01:01 pm
WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., died early Thursday at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Baltimore due to “complications concerning long-standing health problems,” his office and family said in a statement. He was 68. His widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, said her late husband “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.”
Who was Elijah Cummings? One of seven children, Cummings was born to a sharecropper in 1951. At age 11, he helped integrate a swimming pool in Baltimore despite people spitting on him, calling him names, and throwing things at him. In grade school, a counselor called him too slow to learn and a poor speaker. Cummings went on to earn a law degree. In 1983, he began serving in the Maryland State House and won a congressional seat in 1996. Cummings chaired the House Oversight and Reform Committee, managing multiple investigations into President Donald Trump’s administration.
Lawmakers from both parties voiced tributes to Cummings’ years of public service. President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences without mentioning their past clashes: “I got to see first hand the strength, passion, and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!” Cummings had three children, one with his first wife, Joyce Matthews, and two others out of wedlock with different women.
Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew about Cummings’ district in Baltimore.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.