BALTIMORE — From the time he stepped outside of the Democratic Establishment in Maryland to co-chair, a relatively unknown Illinois Senator's campaign in Barack Obama to recently taking on the big drugmakers over the cost of medicine in the country, Cummings never shied away from a fight.
Congressman Cummings' very presence could dominate a room and he used his forcefulness and eloquence to fight on behalf of his constituents.
His problems with President Donald Trump would ultimately come to a head, but congressman Elijah Cummings foreshadowed his intentions during last year's mid-term elections.
Cummings never backed down from a fight, wielding his forceful speech at Freddie Gray's funeral to point out the human loss.
"As I thought about the cameras, I wondered, 'Did anybody recognize Freddie when he was alive? Did you see him? Did you see him?"
Two weeks later, he would again speak to the condition of young African-Americans in his home district as an announcement came that the officers involved in Gray's transport would be indicted.
"We have probable cause to file criminal charges," he said. "Our children went out there and protested, for the most part, peacefully, but they had to protest in order to get here and this creates a faith in them."
Cummings always left people in his district knowing he had their back and they returned that devotion by sending him back to Washington over and over again.