Congressman Elijah Cummings passed away this morning at the age of 68 from a long battle with health problems. His career spans over three decades, where he worked as a civil rights attorney before entering politics. Cummings served in Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for more than 20 years as well as serving as a Delegate in the Maryland General Assembly.
Born in Baltimore, MD, Cummings was the son of sharecroppers. As a child, Cummings was placed in special education classes where he had to fight through the stigmas of being a young black boy with perceived learning disabilities. He was bullied by students and discouraged by teachers and administrators who scoffed at his dreams of becoming a lawyer. Cummings went on to graduate from Howard University in 1973 and the University Of Maryland School Of Law in 1976. Cummings practiced as an attorney for 19 years. He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1983, where he went on to become the first Black Speaker Pro Tem. In 1996, Cummings was elected to the House of Representatives.
“When I became a lawyer, no one asked me if I had spent some time in special ed,” Cummings said. “All they wanted was a good lawyer.
“The same little boys that bullied me, the same ones that beat me up, they became my clients,” he said.
Cummings held many important Committee assignments in the House, and was a leading figure in the impeachment inquiry against President Pumpkin Spice.
His voice, work, and contributions to the people he represented, and the culture in general, will be sorely missed.
Rest in power, King!
View this post on Instagram