Elijah E. Cummings, United States Democratic congressman from Maryland who gained national attention for his principled stands on politically charged issues in the House, his calming effect on anti-police riots in Baltimore, and his forceful opposition to the presidency of Donald Trump, died October 17 at a hospice centre in Baltimore at the age of 68.
The cause of his death was “complications concerning long-standing health challenges,” his office said in a statement. Mr. Cummings was chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and a leading figure in the Trump impeachment inquiry and had been out of his office for weeks while recovering from an unspecified medical procedure.
Born to a family of Southern sharecroppers and Baptist preachers, Mr. Cummings grew up in the racially fractured Baltimore of the 1950s and 1960s. At 11, he helped integrate a local swimming pool while being attacked with bottles and rocks. “Perry Mason,” the popular TV series about a fictional defence lawyer, inspired him to enter the legal profession.