Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and one of the central figures in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, died early on Thursday in Baltimore.
Cummings died of longstanding health challenges, his office said. He was 68.
One of the most powerful Democrats, Cummings had represented Maryland’s 7th congressional district for 23 years. Trump frequently targeted Cummings over his key role in investigations into the Trump administration. The president’s attacks included racist rants against Cummings, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility,” his wife Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings said in a statement. “He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem.”
“It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”
Upon hearing the news, many, including 2020 presidential candidates, posted tributes honoring Cummings:
We lost a giant today. Congressman Elijah Cummings was a fearless leader, a protector of democracy, and a fighter for the people of Maryland. Our world is dimmer without him in it.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 17, 2019
Our heartfelt prayers go out to the family of Rep. Cummings, who generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state and nation for so many years.We give thanks for his dedicated service and pray for the repose of his soul.#FaithinBaltimore
— ArchdioceseBaltimore (@archbalt) October 17, 2019
There was no stronger advocate and no better friend than Elijah Cummings. I am heartbroken for his wonderful family and staff—please pray for them.
I will miss him dearly.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) October 17, 2019
Tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Elijah Cummings. This is a loss for Baltimore, Congress, and the country.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) October 17, 2019
Waking up to the heartbreaking news that Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and House Oversight Chairman, has died at 68. https://t.co/RvrjAer3u0
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 17, 2019
Elijah Cummings was the heart and soul of our caucus, a dignified leader with a voice that could move mountains.
He was our moral and ethical North Star. Now we will be guided by his powerful memory and incomparable legacy.
Rest In Peace, my friend.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 17, 2019
“I want justice, oceans of it. I want fairness, rivers of it. That’s what I want.” —@RepCummings, a man of courage and faith
My deepest sympathies are with the Cummings family and his community. Let us honor him by insisting on justice and integrity in leadership, as he did.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 17, 2019
This is a breaking news post. We will update as more information becomes available.