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Elijah Cummings, a longtime U.S. Congressman representing Maryland’s 7th District, has enjoyed a political career that spans well over three decades. The native Baltimorean is a known fixture in his hometown and made waves on the national stage as a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

Cummings was born on this day in 1951 and raised in Baltimore. The Howard University graduate and Phi Beta Kappa man left the school with an undergraduate degree in political science and earned a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

The future congressman began his political journey in 1983 after being elected to the Maryland House of Delegates before taking the seat held by former U.S. Congresswoman Kweisi Mfume in 1996. Cummings has held the seat since with little in the way of opposition and becoming something of a local celebrity despite his relatively low profile.

While Cummings may not be one of the bigger names in politics, he made headlines last year when President Trump stated that the congressman said he would become one of the greatest presidents of all time. Cummings quickly shot down that story and has maintained his criticism of the policies of the current administration. A true man of the people, Cummings was among the throng of people protesting the Freddie Gray case.

For years, Cummings was a guest columnist for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, using the platform to speak out against issues in both his backyard and nationally. While health concerns have kept Cummings from the limelight in recent times, he has emerged committed as ever to his district and to the nation.

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