Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the exemplary politician and an inspiring figure, who rose from a one-room southern Nevada shack to become among the most powerful historic personalities in United States politics, died on Tuesday. He was 82 when he kicked his bucket.
Reports say that he was having a struggle with pancreatic cancer since 2018. In May 2018 he had major surgery at Johns Hopkins Cancer Centre after detecting a tumour in his pancreas. In a 2019 interview, it was revealed that he was unable to move without a walker. But later in February 2019, Reid haad announced that due to early detection and timely treatment his cancer was in remission.
The news of the death was announced by his wife Landra Reid. her statement is as follows
“I am heartbroken to announce the passing of my husband, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He died peacefully this afternoon, surrounded by our family, following a courageous, four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Harry was 82 years old. We were married for 62 years,” she said. “We are so proud of the legacy he leaves behind both on the national stage and his beloved Nevada. Harry was deeply touched to see his decades of service to Nevada honoured in recent weeks with the re-naming of Las Vegas’ airport in his honour. Harry was a devout family man and deeply loyal friend.”
Reid- An Inspiring Icon
Harry Reid was an iconic force as well as a spokesperson in Democratic politics for more than forty years. He conquered people by his soft-spoken ruthlessness and his vision and hard work led his way from Nevada’s lieutenant governor’s office to the heights of the U.S. Senate.
He started his career as an American lawyer and his public career as the city attorney for the state of Nevada. Then he was elected to the Nevada assembly in 1968. Reids then served as the lieutenant governor of Nevada from 1971 to 1975. He then served as the chairman of the Nevada gaming commission from 1977 to 1981. Then, for the next four years, he represented Nevada 1st district in the lower house of US congress.
He was then elected to the US senate in 1986 and till 2017 he served the senate. When Democrats won control of the senate after 2006, he was raised to be the Majority leader. He held the position during the presidencies of George W Bush and Barack Obama. As a majority leader, he became part of many important legislations. He helped pass the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Apart from his great political career he also has a significant popular cultural image. The movie Casino released in 1995 deals with the events of Reid’s confrontation with Frank Rosenthal. Reid also had a role in the 2000 released movie Traffic. He played himself in that movie. He also appeared in the documentary film Sand and Sorrow, which tells about the genocide in Sudan, with Sam Brownback and Barack Obama.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday called Reid “a dear friend and a giant of our history.”
“During the two decades we served together in the United States Senate, and the eight years we worked together while I served as Vice President, Harry met the marker for what I’ve always believed is the most important thing by which you can measure a person – their action and their word,” Biden said in a statement.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin remembered the late former Sen. Harry Reid who died on Tuesday at the age of 82.
“Most politicians spend a lifetime trying to hide their flaws. Harry would announce them publicly. A lot of politicians like to talk about their log cabin childhood. He wrote a book about growing up in degrading poverty in a troubled family in Searchlight, Nevada. Harry didn’t run away from who he was. And I think that authenticity is what made him such a powerful and effective leader,” he told CNN.
“Harry Reid was one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Twitter statement last night.
“He was tough-as-nails strong but caring and compassionate, and always went out of his way quietly to help people who needed help. He was a boxer who came from humble origins, but he never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor and middle class.”
“He was my leader, my mentor, one of my dearest friends. He’s gone but will walk by the sides of many of us in the Senate every day,” Schumer added.
Harry Reid would be remembered for the impact he made in the political history of America and his magnanimous contributions to his people.