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Thu, 01.18.1951

Elijah Cummings, Baltimore Politician born

Elijah Cummings

*Elijah Cummings was born on this date in 1951.  He was a Black politician.

Elijah Eugene Cummings was from Baltimore, the son of Ruth Elma (née Cochran) and Robert Cummings.  His parents were sharecroppers; he was the third of seven children. Cummings graduated with honors from the Baltimore City College, high school in 1969.  He later attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served in the student government as sophomore class president, student government treasurer, and later student government president. He became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science.  Cummings graduated from law school at the University of Maryland School of Law in 1976 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar later that year.  He practiced law for 19 years before first being elected to the House in the 1996 elections.  

Cummings received 12 honorary doctoral degrees from universities across America, most recently an honorary Doctor of Public Service from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2017.   For 14 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. His predecessor, Lena King Lee, raised funds and campaigned for him; years later, Cummings credited her with launching his political career.  In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. He was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore, the second-highest position in the House of Delegates.  

Cummings also served on several boards and commissions, both in and out of Baltimore. Those include the SEED Schools of Maryland Board of Directors and the University of Maryland Law School Board of Advisors.  He served on numerous Maryland boards and commissions, including the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy and the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel. He was an honorary member of the Baltimore Zoo Board of Trustees.  

In addition to his many speaking engagements, he wrote a biweekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper.   He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Maryland's 7th congressional district. The district includes just over half of Baltimore City, 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.

Elijah Cummings, a member of the Democratic Party and chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, died on October 17, 2019.  

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