Elijah Cummings, Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, passes away

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Twelve-term Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings died early Thursday morning at age 68, Cummings’ office said in a statement.

“At approximately 2:30 A.M. on Thursday October 17, 2019, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings passed away at Gilchrist Hospice Care, a Johns Hopkins affiliate, due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges. More details will be forthcoming,” the statement said.

Cummings, the son of sharecroppers, was a Baltimore icon and was beloved by his constituents. He represented the city in the Maryland House of Delegates for 13 years prior to being elected to Congress in 1996. Cummings represented the 7th district, which includes most of Baltimore City and parts of Baltimore and Howard counties.

Cummings lived in West Baltimore and commuted to Washington, D.C. During the 2015 riots that devastated parts of Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray, Cummings took to the streets to speak with constituents and to urge calm. Four years later he engaged in a Twitter feud with President Donald Trump after Trump lambasted the district and questioned why anyone would want to live there.

Cummings was chair of the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee. He assumed the position in January after Democrats gained control of the lower chamber. Trump’s former attorney and personal “fixer” Michael Cohen testified before the committee in February. The committee is one of six involved in an impeachment inquiry against Trump. It is unclear who might replace Cummings as chair.

President Trump and members of Congress offered their condolences on Thursday.


Funeral plans have yet to be announced.