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Politics

Harry Reid, Former Senate Majority Leader and Nevada’s Longest-Serving Member of Congress, Dies at 82

December 28, 2021

LAS VEGAS — 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.

“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.”

Funeral arrangements would be announced in coming days, she said.

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.

By: Laurie Kellman, Associated Press

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