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Elijah Cummings: Reflections on the Man and His Legacy

AP Photo by Patrick Semansky

Today, we remember Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, who died yesterday in Baltimore at the age of 68. 

From his early career as a lawyer known for his quiet diligence and generous mentoring, to his rise to the top ranks of the U.S. Congress, we reflect today on the legacy of a political giant. 

After 14 years as a Democratic delegate in the Maryland General Assembly, where he led the Legislative Black Caucus, the Baltimore native was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a 1996 special election to serve Maryland’s 7th district, encompassing Baltimore City and parts of Baltimore and Howard counties.  When Democrats regained the majority in the House in the 2018 Congressional elections, Elijah Cummings assumed the chairmanship of the powerful Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where he was a diligent watchdog of the Trump Administration and a leader in the House Impeachment inquiry.  

Joining Tom to share their thoughts about Elijah Cummings' life and work are Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young, civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis (D.,Ga 5th), Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D., Md 7th),  and former Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, as well as Mr. Cummings’ former law partner, Edward Smith, and veteran WBAL-TV reporter Jayne Miller.

A wake and funeral for Elijah Cummings were announced today. The Baltimore Sun reported that they will take place next Friday, October 25, at The New Psalmist Baptist Church, the same church  where Mr. Cummings worshipped for nearly 40 years.  The wake will begin at 8am, followed by a funeral at 10am. Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr., the church's pastor, will deliver the eulogy in the 4,000-seat sanctuary.

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Rob is a contributing producer for Midday.