Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a veteran congressman, passed away 68 years old early Thursday morning.
NBC News reports Cummings, who served as House Oversight Committee chairman, died from health complications that have yet to be specified. He passed away at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital. In recent years, he'd been hospitalized for a heart issue as well as a knee infection.
The Howard University alum entered U.S. Congress in 1996 where he'd go on to serve 12 terms. Prior to working within the federal government, he was the first Black person to fulfill the role of speaker pro tempore in the Maryland House of Delegates where he served for 14 years.
Most recently, Cummings played an integral role in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The representative hadn't been at a congressional roll call because of medical issues since September 11.
In addition to graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University, Cummings also attended the University of Maryland where he earned a law degree. Throughout his political career, he'd been awarded 13 honorary degrees from different colleges and universities.
The Baltimore native and son of a sharecropper had been in headlines in late July after being the subject of Trump's Twitter vitriol.
Disgruntled by Cummings' criticism of the Trump administration's immigration policies, the 45th president attacked Cummings as well as the city from which he hailed in one of his signature cyber rants.
Cummings responded with nothing less than grace and even offered to work in tandem with the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to Cummings' defense as did several other Black public figures, including CNN's Victor Blackwell during a tearful segment as Blavity previously reported.
NBC Washington reports Cummings leaves behind a wife and three children.
Cummings' wife, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who is the chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, said in a statement that the congressman was devoted to democracy.
"Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation's diversity was our promise, not our problem," Rockeymoore Cummings said according to CBS News. "I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly."