Landra Reid, the wife of former Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), released a statement Tuesday night saying her husband died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 82. According to the statement, Reid “died peacefully”, “surrounded by… family, following a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.”
“We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support from so many over these past few years,” Landra Reid said in the statement, according to a tweet from NBC News producer Frank Thorp. “We are especially grateful for the doctors and nurses that cared for him. Please know that meant the world to him.”
The outpouring of support continued after Reid’s death, with both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris releasing statements from the White House.
“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,” President Biden said. Vice President Harris added “whenever we had a chance to speak, Leader Reid was kind, generous, and always to the point.”
Elected to the U.S. House in 1982, Reid served in Congress longer than anyone else in Nevada history. After his election as Senate majority leader in 2007, he was credited with putting Nevada on the political map by pushing to move the state’s caucuses to February at the start of presidential nominating season. His death comes just weeks after Las Vegas’ airport was renamed the Harry Reid International Airport.
“There was no greater advocate for aviation in Southern Nevada than Senator Harry Reid,” Clark County Director of Aviation Rosemary Vassiliadis said in a statement, according to a Tuesday night tweet from the airport.
Serving in Congress as a conservative Democrat, Reid was widely acknowledged as one of toughest dealmakers in Congress. His motto: “I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.”
“The nature of Harry’s and my jobs brought us into frequent and sometimes intense conflict over politics and policy,” Current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. “But I never doubted that Harry was always doing what he earnestly, deeply felt was right for Nevada and our country.”