Harry Reid, former Senate majority leader, prominent Church member, dies at 82
Dec 28, 2021, 7:12 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:42 pm
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader and Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress, has died. He was 82.
Reid died Tuesday, “peacefully” and surrounded by friends “following a courageous, four-year battle with pancreatic cancer,” Landra Reid said of her husband in a statement.
BREAKING: Harry Reid, probably the most important elected official in Nevada history, has died at 82.
My condolences to his family and friends.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) December 29, 2021
“Harry was a devout family man and deeply loyal friend,” she said. “We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support from so many over these past few years. We are especially grateful for the doctors and nurses that cared for him. Please know that meant the world to him.”
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) December 29, 2021
Funeral arrangements would be announced in coming days, she said.
Reid was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the religion he converted to as a college student at Utah State University.
According to Deseret News, Reid confirmed a three-term U.S. Senator as a member of the Church in 2015. He was with then Church President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks when they met with U.S. President Barak Obama in 2009.
When Harry Reid was nearing the end, his wife Landra asked some of us to share letters that she could read to him. In lieu of a statement, here’s what I wrote to my friend: pic.twitter.com/o6Ll6rzpAX
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 29, 2021
Harry Reid was one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met
He never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor & the middle class
He’s gone but will walk by the sides of many of us in the Senate every day pic.twitter.com/8T9PiD7vY4
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 29, 2021
Reid, the combative former boxer-turned-lawyer was widely-acknowledged as one of toughest dealmakers in Congress, a conservative Democrat in an increasingly polarized chamber who vexed lawmakers of both parties with a brusque manner and this motto:
“I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.”
Over a 34-year career in Washington, Reid thrived on behind-the-scenes wrangling and kept the Senate controlled by his party through two presidents — Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama — a crippling recession and the Republican takeover of the House after the 2010 elections.
He retired in 2016 after an accident left him blind in one eye.
Reid in May 2018 revealed he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was undergoing treatment.
Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas and Reno Correspondent Scott Sonner contributed to this report.