A U.S. Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, the pugnacious son of a Nevada hard-rock miner who rose from poverty to become the and earned a reputation as a fierce partisan fighter during an era of political gridlock in Washington, has died. He was 82.
Reid, a former amateur boxer was said to have represented Nevada in the U.S. Congress as a Democrat for more than three decades, died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife of 62 years, Landra, said in a statement.
While paying tribute to the minority leader through a written statement, Yesterday, the U.S. President, Joe Biden said:”I’ve had the honor of serving with some of the all-time great Senate Majority Leaders in our history. Harry Reid was one of them. And for Harry, it wasn’t about power for power’s sake. It was about the power to do right for the people,” .
In the same vein, the former U.S. President Obama posted to social media a recent letter he had written to Reid: “You were a great leader in the Senate, and early on you were more generous to me than I had any right to expect,” Obama said in the letter. “I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination.”
Also, the U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris stated that the country had lost an honorable public servant, adding that the Reid made a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
As gathered, Reid retired in 2016, one year after suffering broken ribs and facial bones and injuring an eye in an accident while exercising at home.
He had ascended to the job of majority leader in 2007 despite being a political moderate who differed from many in his party on abortion, the environment and gun control. In that job Reid regularly clashed with the Republicans and maintained poor relations with the opposition party’s leaders.
Reid was first elected to the House in 1982 and was sent to the Senate by Nevada voters in 1986. He showed remarkable resilience, fighting off spirited re-election challenges.
As majority leader, Reid served as President Barack Obama’s point man in the Senate and helped secure congressional passage of Obama’s signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare, in 2010 over furious Republican opposition.