Home LATEST NEWS Harry Reid, former Democratic leader of the US Senate, dead at 82

Harry Reid, former Democratic leader of the US Senate, dead at 82

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He died peacefully this afternoonshe said in a statement, adding that the death followed a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Majority leader in the Senate between 2007 and 2015, the elected Democrat was a major figure in the end of the presidency of George W. Bush, and of a large part of Barack Obama’s two terms.

Harry Reid had notably used his long experience in Congress to help the Democratic president push through his reform of Obamacare medicare, one of the most important legislative projects of his eight years in the White House.

This poised and laconic speaker was born and raised in the small mining town of Searchlight, western Nevada, in a house with no running water.

Considered more conservative than most Democrats in the Senate, this practicing Mormon was a staunch opponent of abortion, a position that frequently won him head-on opposition from some colleagues within his party.

A shower of tributes

Barack Obama shared a letter Harry Reid’s wife asked him to write shortly before his death, in which the former president thanks a good friend.

I wouldn’t have become President if it hadn’t been for your encouragement and support, and I would never have achieved most of what I have been able to accomplish without your talent and determination.

A quote from Barack obama
Barack Obama and Harry Reid talking to each other surrounded by several other men.

Harry Reid was particularly close to former US President Barack Obama.

Photo: Reuters / POOL New

For the current leader of the Senate, Democrat Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid never forgot where he came from, and he used his boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who hurt the poor and middle class.

Recalling his past as a boxer, former Democratic President Bill Clinton claimed that Harry Reid never shied away from necessary political battles, but was convinced that compromise was vital for a functioning democracy. Millions of Americans are living better lives thanks to laws he masterfully guided through ratification, he added.

The leader of the Republicans in the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell, recalled for his part that While the nature of my and Harry’s work has frequently led us to a sometimes intense policy conflict, I have never doubted that Harry always did what he deeply and sincerely believed was right for Nevada and for our country.

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