Elijah Cummings was an American politician who for over two decades served as the U.S Representative for Maryland 7th Congressional District. Prior to him becoming a politician and getting elected to the United States Congress in 1996, he practiced law for 19 years and was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Described as having the spirit of a preacher, the eloquence of a poet, and the gravitas of a judge, the Baltimore native was held in high regard for always using his position and influence to contribute to the betterment of his district and nation. He did so by always lending his voice to issues surrounding social justice. The veteran Democrat’s outstanding work and good deeds went on to earn him worldwide praise as well as special recognition by the government.
Life of The Politician
Congressman Cummings was the third child of sharecroppers Ruth Elma Cochran Cummings and Robert Cummings. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland on the 18th of January 1951. The politician, whose full name is Elijah Eugene Cummings, was raised by his parents alongside his six siblings.
Elijah Cummings completed his high school studies at Baltimore City College in 1969 before proceeding to attend Howard University in Washington D. C. He graduated from the prestigious historically black institution in 1973, obtaining a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. While in school, he served in the student government in various capacities, first as Sophomore Class President and then Student Government Treasurer before attaining the position of Student Government President. He was also a member of the Phi Beta Society.
Later on, Elijah Cummings attended Law School at the University of Maryland School of Law and graduated in 1976 with his Juris Doctor Degree. He was subsequently admitted to the Maryland Bar where he practiced Law for 19 years.
In 1983, Cummings joined politics and successfully ran to become a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. During his time there, he served as the Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and then was the first African-American to be elected Speaker Pro Tempore in state history.
In 1996, Elijah Cummings became the U.S Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district after five-term incumbent Kweisi Mfume opted to resign to follow other interests. As a house member, Cummings was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and during the 108th United States Congress, he served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was further on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform where he served as Chair, and the Select Committee on Benghazi where he was the Ranking Minority Member.
Career Highlights And Achievements
Although Elijah Cummings’ work as a U.S Representative was abruptly cut short due to his death, what he managed to achieve when he was alive is nothing short of impressive. The politician was known to have used his reputable office and influential position to uplift and empower the people he swore to represent.
As the Chairman of the Committee and Oversight Reforms, Congressman Cummings upheld an admirable standard of efficiency, effectiveness, diligence, and excellence in his office by introducing appropriate measures that seek to eliminate waste of resources, fraudulent activities, and abuse of power.
Elijah Cummings was the brain behind the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 which was later signed into law in the same year by President Barack Obama. The politician was also the one who introduced the All Circuit Review Extension Act. Most recently before his death, he played a leading role in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump as the chair of the Oversight Committee.
How He Died and What Led To His Death
Elijah Cummings was 68 years old when he died on the 17th day of October 2019 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. No exact cause of death was given, however, a spokesperson for the family said his death was as a result of complications caused by long-term health challenges. It was later revealed that the Congressman had for over 25 years been battling a rare form of cancer called thymic carcinoma.
A state funeral attended by members of Congress and his family was first held at the Capitol Building on October 24 before an official funeral was held the following day at Baltimore’s New Psalmist Baptist Church where the politician had been a member for over 40 years.
Elijah Cummings was survived by his wife of eleven years, Maya Roockymoore Cummings, who he exchanged marital vows with in the year 2009. Like her husband, Maya is also a politician. She previously contested for Maryland Governor and is currently the Chairperson of the Maryland Democratic Party.
Although Cummings didn’t father any kid with Maya, he had three children from previous relationships. His first child is a daughter named Jennifer J. Cummings who he had with his ex-wife Joyce Matthews. The other two other kids (a boy and a girl) are from other relationships.