I was saddened as well as shocked to learn of the recent passing of a true American icon, Congressman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat by party affiliation, who represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, which includes much of the city of Baltimore. He had represented the district since 1996, winning elections for his congressional seat 13 times, most recently defeating his Republican challenger by a 77.8% to 22.2% vote margin.
It was revealed upon his passing that Congressman Cummings had for some time been dealing with “numerous health concerns,” of which many, including myself, were unaware, as Representative Cummings chose not to focus on his health issues, but continued to concentrate, as usual, on his working serving the American people.
Congressman Cummings, who was only 68 when he passed, was born to a family of Southern sharecroppers who moved to Maryland when he was a youth. His strong sense of fair play became quite evident early on, when at the age of 11, he was instrumental in the integration of a Baltimore swimming pool.
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University, earned his law degree from the University of Maryland and served 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates prior to his ascension to Congress in 1996.
During his tenure in Congress, Congressman Cummings was well known and highly respected for his work ethic, intelligence, sense of fair play and strong advocacy for his constituents and those in need.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama gave very memorable and most deserved eulogies commemorating the wonderful life and outstanding achievements of Congressman Cummings.
Representative Cummings was a truly great American, whose positive impact on our great nation will be felt for years to come. He lived an extraordinary life and will be greatly missed.