Longtime Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, who tragically passed away on the morning of October 17, 2019, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, left behind three children from different relationships.
Cummings was 68 years old. Cummings passed away due to “complications due to longstanding health challenges,” according to a statement posted by his office on Twitter.
Cummings is survived by his wife, Maya Rockeymoore. Rockeymoore and Cummings were married in 2008. Elijah Cummings has a daughter, Jennifer, he had with his first wife, and two children he had with women out of wedlock, Adia and a son whose name is unknown.
Rockeymoore is the chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party and released a statement about her husband’s death in a press release from the organization. She described him as 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. It’s been an honor to walk by his side on this incredible journey. I loved him deeply and will miss him dearly.”
Rep. Cummings was one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics and led multiple probes into the President’s governmental dealings as chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He recently played a central role in the congressional inquiry into the President’s attempt to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
Cummings’ investigations drew the ire of President Trump, who went on Twitter in August 2019 and called Cummings’ district a “rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”
Rep. Cummings responded to Trump in a speech he gave at the National Press Club shortly after. “Those at the highest levels of government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior,” he said. “As a country, we finally must say that enough is enough. That we are done with the hateful rhetoric. That we are done with the mass shootings. That we are done with the white supremacists, domestic terrorists who are terrorizing our country and fighting against everything America stands for.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Adia Cummings Was Discovered as a Lyft Driver After People Saw Elijah’s Congressional License Plates
While Adia was attending Howard University, Elijah lent her his black Honda Civic to get around Washington, DC. Like many other college students, Adia started driving for Lyft to make some extra money at school. Passerbys started noticing the car around DC sporting Cummings’ official congressional license plates, which are only used by members of Congress, along with a Lyft sticker in the window. One user posted a photo of the car to the blog Popville.
At first, people thought there was a member of Congress trying to earn some extra money before the “Reliable Sources” gossip column at the Post discovered that it was Elijah’s daughter Adia.
“In an effort to earn some extra money to pay her expenses at school, she signed up for a part-time position with one of the ride-sharing companies. They, in turn, gave her a sticker to apply to the windshield of the car,” Cummings told CNN at the time.
“I apologize for not having removed the license plate before loaning the vehicle to her.” Added Cummings.
The license plates were eventually removed and Adia continued to drive for Lyft.
2. Adia and Jennifer Cummings Both Graduated from Howard University
Both Elijah’s daughters attended his alma mater, Howard University, a federally chartered historically black university located in Washington, D.C.
Jennifer earned her B.A. in journalism and public relations from Howard in 2003 before getting her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland.
Adia graduated from Howard in 2016 with a degree in English.
3. Little is Known About Elijah Cummings’ Son
Elijah Cummings had his first child (Jennifer) with his now-estranged wife and fathered two other children out of wedlock, his daughter Adia and a son whose name is unknown.
Cummings never mentioned his son publicly or posted photographs with him on social media. The Baltimore Sun reported back in 1999 that Cummings had “a 16-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.” The 4-year-old was Adia, but the name of the son was never released. The paper also reported that Cummings was in financial trouble trying to support his entire family and that “he paid about $30,000 last year (1998) in child support and tuition payments.”
His son was 16 in 1999 which would mean he is around 35-years-old now. The Sun also added that “the congressman has referred to his younger daughter in many speeches. But until now, he has never publicly acknowledged the existence of his son. The teenager lives with his mother in Baltimore.”
His son has kept himself out of the media and was rarely mentioned publicly by Elijah Cummings.
4. Adia Cummings Is an Aspiring Artist
According to her Facebook page and profile on humans.net, Adia is an aspiring photographer, videographer, and writer currently looking for full-time work.
“Hey! I’m a recent Howard University alum, major in English, who specializes in photography, videography, photo and video editing, writing, and proofreading.” reads her profile on humans.net “I also have tons of experience in childcare, over 7 years, and have experience in tutoring and teaching! I’m looking to build my portfolio and help fund my own artistic projects. Thanks for checking me out!”
Humans.net is a freelancer website where people can find work or find freelancers for all sorts of odd jobs.
Adia also showcases some of her writing and photography on her Facebook page.
5. Jennifer Cummings Is an Executive at Business Roundtable
Jennifer Cummings is currently the Senior Director of Communications at Business Roundtable. According to their “About Us” page, Business Roundtable is “an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy.”
Prior to joining Business Roundtable, Jennifer spent 12 years as a senior communications strategist at The Fratelli Group where she led advocacy and media relations efforts for a wide range of clients. The Fratelli Group is a marketing and PR company that helps promote issues in U.S. trade and agricultural policy and education among other issues. They also worked with a “Latin American nation” to “develop and implement a multi-faceted campaign that dramatically improved the nation’s image in Washington.”