BALTIMORE - U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings has died at age 68, his office announced Thursday morning.
WBAL (@AnneKramerWBAL) October 17, 2019
According to WBAL, the Maryland Democrat died about 2:45 a.m. Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore "due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges," his office said in a statement.
The news came one day after the Baltimore Sun reported that Cummings had not returned to Washington after having a recent "medical procedure." His office did not share details about the procedure.
Cummings, who represented Maryland's 7th District for more than 23 years, was the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The Sun described him as "a key figure in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump."
Trump shared condolences for Cummings' family in a statement released Thursday morning.
"I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader," he said. "His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!"
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
Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that he and his wife, Michelle Obama, were heartbroken by news of Cummings' passing.
"As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, he showed us all not only the importance of checks and balances within our democracy, but also the necessity of good people stewarding it," Obama said. "Steely yet compassionate, pricinipled yet open to new perspectives, Chairman Cummings remained steadfast in his pursuit of truth, justice, and reconciliation."
Obama statement on Elijah Cummings pic.twitter.com/ITCCaBtJVB— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) October 17, 2019
Flags were lowered Thursday on Capitol Hill to honor Cummings, Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree reported.
Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 17, 2019
"I'm devastated by the loss," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday after meeting with Cummings' wife to share condolences from her caucus. "She said what we all knew -- he just fought to the end. But that's the way he was."
According to Cummings' congressional website, the Baltimore native graduated from Howard University with a bachelor's degree in political science before completing law school at the University of Maryland. He eventually was awarded 13 honorary doctorates, the website says.
Before he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cummings was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1983 to 1996. Cummings' website says he was "the first African American in Maryland history to be named speaker pro tem."
Cummings is survived by his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and three children, the Washington Post reported.
After learning of his death, friends, colleagues and other public figures remembered Cummings on Twitter, calling him a "patriot" and a "warrior."
America lost a giant with the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings, a man of principle who championed truth, justice and kindness. He fiercely loved his country and the people he served. Rest In Peace, my friend.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 17, 2019
My condolences to the family of Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland who went to be with the Lord early this morning at 68 years of age.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 17, 2019
May God grant his family strength & peace in these difficult moments & his soul eternal rest.
Our Congress & our country has lost a champion for justice, a fighter for good, an honorable and zealous leader.— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) October 17, 2019
My heart goes out to all his loved ones. I feel incredibly fortunate to have known him, worked with him & witnessed his powerful leadership.
This one has broken me.— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) October 17, 2019
I am broken. @RepCummings was a lion. A fierce warrior for justice. He was principled and kind. His spirit was pure & his moral compass was true. He will be GREATLY missed.
This one really, really hurts. #RIPSir #ElijahCummings
Horribly sad news to wake up to this morning. A great loss for the country. https://t.co/r7WNsdwsPQ— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) October 17, 2019
My heart is saddened at the loss of a colleague and friend. Elijah cared deeply about public service and the importance of “representing your people”. Rest In Peace good and faithful servant. https://t.co/T7JfnyZnXY— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) October 17, 2019
Thank you, Elijah, for being such a good friend. But we thank God even more that you were such a powerful advocate for your constituents and a true patriot fighting for justice and truth. pic.twitter.com/E1SgnQXorO— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) October 17, 2019
Congressman Elijah Cummings and Chair of the House Oversight Committee has passed away overnight. Father God, please welcome our brother Elijah home in triumph for an earthly life of service. My heart breaks for his family and our country. We have lost a warrior. 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/bBjO8Ur6tC— Star Jones (@StarJonesEsq) October 17, 2019