Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, who represented Nevada in the U.S. Senate for 30 years, passed away at 82. Reid died on December 28 following a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in 2018. At the time of death, he was surrounded by his friends and family.
Reid's wife, Landra, issued an official statement stating that he was deeply honored that the Las Vegas airport had been re-named after him.
"Harry was a devout family man and deeply loyal friend.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."
News of his death came to light after political reporter Jon Ralston put out a statement calling Reid "Nevada's most important elected official."
In 1998, Reid was elected to the Senate as a Democrat, serving as majority leader from 2006 to 2014. He stepped down in 2017 after an accident left him visually impaired in one eye.
Harry Reid was among the few politicians who did not back down from a heated debate on the Senate floor. As a result, he earned a reputation for being divisive. Reid nominated Chuck Schumer to be his successor in May 2017.
Tributes pour in Harry Reid passes away
U.S. President Joe Biden called Reid a great friend and "a giant of our history."
Schumer, majority leader of the Senate, dubbed Reid "one of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met." Praising his efforts, Schumer further said Reid used his "boxing instincts" to help the middle class and poor people.
The Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, said there would never be another leader like Reid and extended his condolences to the late Senator's family.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama said he would not have been the President if Reid hadn't encouraged or supported him.
"And I wouldn't have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination."
Post his initial diagnosis, Reid underwent surgery in May 2018 at the Johns Hopkins Cancer Center in Maryland. A few months later, Reid could only move with the aid of a walker.
However, Reid announced in February 2019 that his cancer was in remission because of early detection and chemotherapy.