The late Representative Elijah E. Cummings dedicated over two decades of his life to serving the people of Maryland and Black communities across the nation. Rep. Cummings was a history-making civil rights advocate who served 14 consecutive terms in the Maryland House of Delegates and was the state’s first African American to be named Speaker Pro Tempore.

Over a year after his passing in October 2019, his legacy still has a lasting impact on today’s generation of community leaders. In the Sports Illustrated 2020 Change Agent series, former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith named Rep. Cummings as one of his biggest inspirations. 

Smith interned at Rep. Cummings congressional office in his offseason after winning the Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2013. 

He taught me so much. How to lead. How to stand tall in your beliefs, how to stand firmly. He was known for being strong, for fighting for everyone, including the voiceless and those who are at the bottom,” Smith wrote. “And that’s something I take a lot of pride in as well. And I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to watch him in action.”

Rep. Cummings — who amassed a $1.3 million net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth — was first elected to public office in 1983 as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. In 1996, he was elected to the House of Representatives. His annual salary was $174,000 — with additional income from speaking engagements, appearances, and real estate.