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

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Cummings was born January 18, 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.

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The future congressman began his political journey in 1983 after being elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, then taking the seat held by former U.S. Congressman Kweisi Mfume in 1996. Cummings has held the seat since then with little opposition while also becoming a local celebrity.

Cummings made headlines in 2018 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 became a harsh critic of the policies of the Trump administration.

A true man of the people, Cummings was among the throng protesting the Freddie Gray case in the streets of Baltimore. The chairman of the House Oversight Committee, the investigative arm of the lawmaking body, he defended his hometown when President Trump characterized his district as crime and rodent-infested.

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 kept Cummings limited his public appearances in recent months,  he remained committed as ever to his district and to the nation. One of his last recorded speeches was another stinging critique of the Trump administration.

He’s survived by his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and their three children.

PHOTO: AP

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