The incredible life of Elijah Cummings: How a sharecropper’s son rose to become one of the fiercest Democrats who took on TrumpOctober 27, 2019
- Elijah Cummings was born in 1951 and died in 2019, at age 68.
- After working as a lawyer, he rose through the political ranks in Maryland, first serving as a state delegate for 14 years, and then representing Maryland’s 7th Congressional District for the last 23 years.
- Cummings was known for his booming speeches, and holding truth to power. See his life in photos.
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Elijah Cummings came from modest beginnings and died a towering politician.
In elementary school, he was told he was a poor learner and speaker. He went on to become a lawyer, a politician, and one of the fiercest orators in congress.
Over his nearly 40-year political career, Cummings fought for the rights of African Americans, for stricter gun control laws, and for people struggling with addiction.
As chairman of the Oversight and Reform committee, he was in the spotlight this past year when he demanded personal finance and political documents from President Donald Trump.
Here’s a look back at Cummings’ remarkable life.
When he was 11 years old, his civil rights roots showed for the first time when he rallied together with other children to try and integrate a swimming pool in Baltimore. Everyday for a week, as children tried to get into the pool, they were spat on and threatened. Cummings was cut by a bottle that was thrown at him. “The experience transformed my entire life,” he said.
Source: AP News
When Cummings was 17, he met Larry Gibson as he looked for people to put into his high school’s hall of fame. Gibson, an active member of the 1960s civil rights movement, became his mentor and later advised him to go to law school. They also worked on political campaigns together.
And contrary to his elementary school advice, Cummings became one of the most persuasive speakers in the statehouse. The AP described how he began speaking slowly, developing his themes, and then getting more enthusiastic, until his speech seemed not unlike a religious sermon.
During his time as a delegate, Cummings was responsible for banning inner-city billboard advertisements for alcohol and tobacco. It was the first prohibition in a large city in the US.
Source: AP News