Tributes and remembrances are pouring in for Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who died Thursday of complications from what his office called “longstanding health challenges.” He was 68.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol lowered to half-staff in honor of Cummings, who served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Speaking to reporters at her weekly press conference, Pelosi mourned the loss of her “brother in Baltimore.”
“He was considered our North Star,” Pelosi said. “He was a leader of towering character and integrity. He lived the American dream ... and he wanted it for everyone else. He spoke with unsurpassed clarity and moral integrity.
“He always used to say, ‘Our children are our living messengers to a future we will never see,’” she continued. “He wanted to be sure that future was going to be better for them and that they would bring with them our values.
“It’s very sad. We’ve all lost a friend,” Pelosi added. “I am devastated.”
President Trump was among those who expressed their condolences on Twitter.
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
As was former President Barack Obama.
Statement from former President Barack Obama on the death of Elijah Cummings. pic.twitter.com/YORm1uYRph— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) October 17, 2019
Elijah Cummings was a true public servant, his life defined by the love of his community and a fierce commitment to ensuring truth wins over power. The whole Biden family sends our condolences to his wife, Maya, his children, and the entire city of Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/jYbvQwZI1a— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 17, 2019
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
Saddened to hear of the passing of a great statesman that I truly admired, US Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. May he rest in power. pic.twitter.com/FhmuPO7WWw— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) October 17, 2019
.@RepCummings: Shocked by the suddenness of his passing. He possessed broad shoulders, keen intellect, a tough mind&a tender heart; the attributes of which great leaders are built.Condolences to his wife,his family, Baltimore,his constituents & the nation. A fine public servant. pic.twitter.com/RLemnnwTXh— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) October 17, 2019
Cummings’s congressional colleagues also posted tributes.
Elijah Cummings and the journey he forged was among the most remarkable and consequential. His whole life, he worked to right injustices present in communities across the country. Judy and I pray for his family and all who were touched by Elijah throughout his incredible life.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 17, 2019
Elijah Cummings was the heart and soul of our caucus, a dignified leader with a voice that could move mountains.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 17, 2019
He was our moral and ethical North Star. Now we will be guided by his powerful memory and incomparable legacy.
Rest In Peace, my friend.
Deeply saddened by the passing of Chairman Elijah Cummings.— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) October 17, 2019
He spoke truth to power, defended the disenfranchised and represented West Baltimore with strength and dignity.
Congress has lost a Champion. Heaven has gained an Angel of Justice. May he forever #RestInPower. pic.twitter.com/3pg555ijFG
Rep. Cummings was an American hero, a beacon of hope, a profound storyteller; decent and fierce in his convictions and always fighting for the forgotten. He was an inspiration to me and to so many he served with.— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) October 17, 2019
All of Congress and our entire nation feels this loss so deeply.
Elijah Cummings was a friend, a mentor, and a leader with steadfast moral clarity. I am heartbroken.@RepCummings served this nation until his very last day — I’ve been honored to learn from him as his Vice Chair. My thoughts are with his family.— Rep. Katie Hill (@RepKatieHill) October 17, 2019
Our country has lost a great.
Elijah Cummings was my Chairman and my friend, and when he spoke — with his moral clarity and conviction — the world listened.— Jim Cooper (@repjimcooper) October 17, 2019
What would Elijah want us to say about him today? As my heart and soul grieves, I believe he would want us to think about the life we live and the service we give, because it matters. I believe he would encourage us to be a light in a dark world. pic.twitter.com/nLZBjGM0uV— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) October 17, 2019
1/2 When our nation can ill-afford to lose such a kind, principled leader one of my dearest friends and mentors has left us. My heart is broken, as I weep personally and for his family and community. Elijah Cummings’ unmatched integrity and leadership leaves a remarkable legacy.— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) October 17, 2019
2/2 But I know Chairman Cummings' struggle for justice and freedom lives on, as so many – like me – stand on his shoulders to carry on his courageous fight. May his memory be for a blessing.— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) October 17, 2019
A devastating loss for our country.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 17, 2019
Chairman Cummings was a giant: a universally respected leader who brought profound insight, commitment, and moral fortitude to Congress.
His guidance and vision was an enormous gift. I will forever cherish his example. May he rest in power. https://t.co/D0RsKsM5fh
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
Today our country lost a true leader. Congressman Elijah Cummings was a friend, a passionate fighter for justice, and a powerful voice of moral conscience in our government who served his country for decades with dignity and integrity. I’m blessed to have known him. #RIPElijah— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 17, 2019
We’ve lost a leader like no other. Elijah Cummings was a lion when standing up for his beloved Baltimore & rights & truth. But he was also so kind, including to brand new senators like me a decade ago. His advice was as true as his love for his country. 💔 https://t.co/T5pLt24Jjv— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) October 17, 2019
Tremendously saddened to learn of the passing of Elijah Cummings. This is a loss for Baltimore, Congress, and the country.— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) October 17, 2019
The son of sharecroppers, Elijah Cummings used his powerful voice to lift up those who often felt powerless. He will be missed and remembered as a tireless advocate for the poor and all who demand an honest, ethical, and fair government.— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 17, 2019
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, one of Cummings’s closest friends, did as well.
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.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) October 17, 2019
I will miss him dearly.
Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” changed his Twitter avatar to a photo of Cummings, who officiated at Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski’s wedding ceremony in November 2018.
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
Cummings transcended the world of politics, as evidenced by the swath of celebrities paying him tribute.
Elijah Cummings was and will remain a rock star in all the hearts of people who met him and were lucky enough to know him. I never met him, but I wish I had, and I always admired his passion for his country. A man who was never for sale. @RepCummings— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) October 17, 2019
A champion for the poor and downtrodden, Rep. Elijah Cummings has departed. He strove through decades of service to bring justice and dignity to greater numbers in this world. We honor his life and his work, and pledge to continue his fight. Rest now, great soul. pic.twitter.com/r4IThSvk8L— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 17, 2019
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings. A true giant and champion for democracy. He was a fighter and patriot who loved this country and left a lasting legacy in American history. Sending love and prayers to his entire family, friends and staff. pic.twitter.com/mF9lesX38W— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) October 17, 2019
Decency. Simple decency. Basic human kindness. A rudimentary concern for others rooted in a soul-level desire to do right & be of help.— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) October 17, 2019
THAT is what @RepCummings exemplified with his every word & deed as a public servant.
THAT is what is missing in this current, evil regime.
Very sad to learn of the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings this morning. @RepCummings chaired the powerful House Oversight Committee. His booming voice rings in my ears, from when he demanded decency from the head of Homeland Security, for the treatment of children at our border. https://t.co/qZqK1rvKBR— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) October 17, 2019
His loss was felt in the city of Baltimore, which Cummings represented in Congress.
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings was a committee chairman known for his devotion to Baltimore and civil rights and for blunt and passionate speechmaking. He died of longstanding health problems early Thursday morning at 68. https://t.co/r6jD7oLDa1— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) October 17, 2019
Our heartfelt prayers go out to the family of Rep. Cummings, who generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state and nation for so many years.We give thanks for his dedicated service and pray for the repose of his soul.#FaithinBaltimore— ArchdioceseBaltimore (@archbalt) October 17, 2019
Congressman Elijah Cummings was a champion for the city of Baltimore and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. His integrity was unmatched and his passion for public service was inspirational. He will be incredibly missed. pic.twitter.com/k5fm3gBW3x— Pratt Library (@prattlibrary) October 17, 2019
I was there that night in Baltimore, after Freddie Gray was murdered by the police, when Cummings took a bullhorn and spoke to the people. It was a powerful display of true leadership.— Touré (@Toure) October 17, 2019
One of the last public events for @RepCummings in West #Baltimore - a park dedication that had once been a vacant lot. Cummings died overnight at #JohnsHopkinsHospital at the age of 68 #HouseOversightCommittee #Cummings #ElijahCummings @wbalradio pic.twitter.com/i8XuJf8F5y— Phil Yacuboski (@WBALPhil) October 17, 2019
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