Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) — who spent 23 years on Capitol Hill and represented parts of Baltimore — passed away early on Thursday at age 68 after fighting health issues, his office said in a statement.
Cummings, the son of a sharecropper, rose to become a powerful House Democrat after a career as a lawyer and judge.
He was also a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.
Cummings died at Gilchrist Hospice Care, a Johns Hopkins Hospital affiliate, according to reports.
He had been in ill health for the past few years, several outlets noted — and had traveled around the Capitol in a motorized cart. He also used a walker.
The congressman was chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and one of the most influential Democrats in Washington.
He was also a leading voice in the Congressional Black Caucus.
He had been playing a major role in House Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump from office.
Tributes to the congressman’s life and career began pouring in almost immediately after the news broke.
President Trump himself shared heartfelt thoughts and “warmest condolences to the family and many friends” on the congressman’s passing.
See his tweet below:
My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019
And see these other tweets with more information and reaction to the early Thursday morning news.
Please share your thoughts.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 17, 2019
Cummings recalled saying: “Mr. President, you’re now 70-something, I’m 60-something. Very soon you and I will be dancing with the angels. The thing that you and I need to do is figure out what we can do — what present can we bring to generations unborn?” https://t.co/RGEcZDRzMQ
— Erik Wasson (@elwasson) October 17, 2019
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
Elijah Cummings refused to be told what he could become or where his dreams might end. He refused to accept injustice in his community or inequality in his country. His towering presence will be missed but his legacy will live on with us all. https://t.co/HOVLcwjATh
— Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) October 17, 2019
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 17, 2019
So very sad, prayers for his family.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, longtime advocate for Baltimore and civil rights and key figure in Trump impeachment inquiry, dies at 68 https://t.co/KVQk7tmNzW
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) 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
This article has been updated with the latest tweets.