Elijah Eugene Cummings (January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019) was an American politician and civil rights advocate who served in the United States House of Representatives for Maryland's 7th congressional district from 1996 until his death in October of 2019. The district includes just over half of the city of Baltimore, including most of the majority-black precincts of Baltimore County, as well as most of Howard County. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates. He was a member of the Democratic Party from 1996. Cummings served in the Maryland House from 1983 through 1996. That year, he was elected to the U.S. House. Cummings served as the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform from January 2019 until his death in October of that year.
He is also known as Mr Cummings and Elijah Eugene Cummings.
Cummings died on October 17, 2019, at Johns Hopkins Hospital at the age of 68 from "complications concerning longstanding health challenges", his spokeswoman stated. Before his funeral service on October 25 at Baltimore's New Psalmist Baptist Church, where he was a member for 40 years, Cummings lay in state at the U.S. Capitol Building's Statuary Hall on October 24.
Cummings is the first African American lawmaker to achieve the honor of lying in state at the nation's Capitol. Prior to his death, the most recent people to lie in state were former President George H. W. Bush in December 2018 and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Following a state funeral which was attended by family and members of Congress, thousands of public mourners were seen entering the U.S. Capitol to see his casket and received greetings from his widow, Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings. His casket departed from the U.S. Capitol at around 8:35 pm.
On October 25, 2019, the official funeral for Cummings was held at the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore and was attended by members of his family and various political figures. This included former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, along with Nancy Pelosi, John Lewis, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.