Congressman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat and Chair of House Oversight and Reform Committee, Has Died

A sharecropper's son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump

Elijah Cummings and Donald Trump.
REUTERS/Yuri Gripas / REUTERS/Leah Millis

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said. He was 68.

A sharecropper's son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that investigated President Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his district that encompassed a large portion of Baltimore.

As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led multiple investigations into Trump's governmental dealings. The investigations angered the president, who criticized the congressman's district in 2019 as a "rodent-infested mess" where "no human being would want to live."

Cummings responded that government officials must stop making "hateful, incendiary comments" that only serve to divide and distract the nation from its real problems