Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68 Years Old

Will Maule | Contributor | Friday, October 18, 2019
Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68 Years Old

Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68 Years Old

Well-known Baltimore politician, Elijah Cummings, has died at the age of 68. The highly respected Congressman passed away after suffering complications stemming from a long-standing health condition, his office confirmed.

Announcing his death, Cummings' wife and Maryland Democratic Party Chair, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, called her husband “an honorable man” who “proudly served his district and our country with dignity.”

“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,” she added. “I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”

Cummings spent some 14 years sitting in the Maryland House of Delegates, before winning his seat in Congress via a 1994 special election. A fierce advocate for his local constituents, the Democrat championed community action and was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential bid.

Latterly, however, he was known for his staunch opposition to President Trump. Leading a series of public investigations into the Commander-in-Chief, Cummings was the man behind the now-infamous testimony of Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, summoning him to testify shortly after he had been convicted on several charges, including tax evasion and making false statements to a financial institution.

When asked by the New York Times what he would like to say to President Trump, Cummings replied:

“I want to send a message that we have one life to live, Mr. President. This is no dress rehearsal. And that the American people simply want to live their lives without fear of their leaders. And we, as leaders, have a duty and a responsibility to keep our promise to them when we ran for office and won — and that is to make their lives better. While we’re all on this earth, that’s my message.”

While he had been vocal in his criticism of Cummings in recent times, the President he issued a softer statement after learning of his death.

“My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cumming,” he tweeted. “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!”

Several other public figures issued messages of condolence and sorrow at his passing.

“When Chairman Elijah Cummings spoke, America listened,” said Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. “He pushed each and every one of his colleagues to work for a higher purpose. May we all seek to follow his example.”

“It’s going to be difficult to sleep tonight & I know for many nights to come,” added California Congresswoman, Maxine Waters. “My dear friend Rep. Elijah Cummings is gone. I’m going to miss him. He called me his mentor, but I considered him the finest public policymaker I ever worked with. Love you forever!” 

Do keep the Cummings family in your prayers at this difficult time.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff