Civil rights leader Rep. Elijah Cummings dies at 68

Maryland representative Elijah Cummings, the long-serving Democratic congressman, was deeply involved in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
2:24 | 10/17/19

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Transcript for Civil rights leader Rep. Elijah Cummings dies at 68
A key figure in that impeachment inquiry in renowned civil rights leader representative Elijah Cummings passing away overnight. Tom llamas is here with more on the democratic leader. Good morning. Good morning. This news stunning so many. Baltimore has lost its biggest fighter and the country has lost one of its most dedicated public servants. Congressman Elijah Cummings dying from long-standing health complications and went from being a sharecropper's son to one of the most powerful members of congress. And this time, this time all of our votes will be counted. Reporter: He fought for Baltimore and for civil rights. Representative Elijah Cummings served in congress since 1996. People are suffering and even dying, even as we debate today. That's a serious crime. Reporter: Becoming a national figure, serving as the chairman of the house oversight and reform committee. A key force in investigating the trump administration. The one meeting I had with president trump I said to him the greatest gift that you and I, Mr. President, can give to our children is making sure that we give them a democracy that is intact. Reporter: Cummings and the president clashed repeatedly including this summer when president trump tweeted Baltimore was rat and rodent infested. Cummings defending his city and calling out language he called racist being used by national leaders. He also took on the white house when president trump attacked four freshmen women of color tweeting they should go back to the countries he said they're from. When the president does these things it brings up the same feelings that I had over 50 some years ago and is very, very painful, it's extremely divisive and I just don't think that this is becoming of the president of the United States of America, the leader of the entire world. Reporter: The powerful Democrat known for his thunderous voice and fearlessness, he was 68. And he had yet to return to work after undergoing a medical procedure in September that he said would only keep him away from the office for a week or so. Congressman Cummings will be mourned there in Baltimore and really all over the country. Guys. Incredible man. Yeah, you pointed out, Tom, he devoted his life to public service starting out as a teen on the front lines of that civil rights struggle in Baltimore. What a life. Thanks for bringing it to us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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