Legendary Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, the Howard University grad and Baltimore attorney who led the fight in the hotly-contested impeachment process in Washington, has died.
Cummings was 68 years old.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland’s largest newspaper, Cummings took a self-imposed moratorium from his role as the ranking chairman of the House of Representatives’ Oversight and Reform Committee to attend to an unspecified medical procedure. However, Cummings never returned to work. There was no indication that he was ever in danger health-wise.
He was due to return to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
— Anne Kramer WBAL (@AnneKramerWBAL) October 17, 2019
The Baltimore Sun reports that Cummings had two significant medical procedures performed on him at Johns Hopkins University within the past two years. He had a “bacterial infection” in his knee in 2018, but he reportedly called this minor. And in 2017, he also had to take a break from work to have a “minimally invasive” heart procedure to correct a narrowing of one of the valves.
It is not known if his passing is related to either one of these medical conditions, but the latter hospitalization forced his wife to suspend her run for Maryland governor.
As political observers and pundits were well aware, Cummings was embroiled in a prolonged feud with the president because of his advocacy of impeachment and endured multiple insults about his allegedly “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess” of a district.
The born and bred Baltimore native graduated from Howard University in Washington with a bachelor’s degree in political science where he also served as student government president. Afterwards, Cummings obtained his law degree from the University of Maryland.
Cummings served 13 years in Maryland’s House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in 1996.
“Congressman Cummings has dedicated his life of service to uplifting and empowering the people he is sworn to represent,” Cumming’s official biography states on his website.
“He began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem,” it says. “Since 1996, Congressman Cummings has proudly represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Cummings is survived by his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and their three children.