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- American politician (1939–2021)
Dec. 31—Former majority leader died Tuesday at age 82
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown paid tribute on Wednesday to former Senate Majority Leader harry Reid, who died Tuesday at age 89.
Reid, a Nevada Democrat who represented the state in the Senate from 1987-2017, was his party's leader in the chamber from 2005-2017.
He led the Democrats in the minority from 2005-2007, then became majority leader when his party took control of Congress following the 2006 midterm elections, the same year Brown was elected to the Senate.
Reid held the majority leader position until 2015, after Republicans regained control of the chamber, then spent his final two years in the Senate, again as minority leader.
Reid, an attorney and former boxer, had been battling pancreatic cancer since 2018.
Brown cited the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 as one of Reid's key accomplishments.
"Harry Reid was one of the most effective leaders for working people in our country's history," Brown said in a statement. "Whenever a family signs up for affordable health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, they have Harry to thank for it. "
He said Reid came from "humble origins."
"He carried the lessons of Searchlight with him through decades of service to his beloved Nevada, and to the people of this country," Brown said. "He understood the dignity of work in his bones, and he helped his state show the nation what we can achieve when we empower workers through the labor movement. Harry was a legend, of course, and he was also a dear friend and mentor. Connie and I send our sympathy and our prayers to Landra, the entire Reid family, and the people of Nevada."
Reid is the second former Senate majority leader to die this month. Bob Dole, who led Republicans in the chamber in the 1990s, died Dec. 5 at age 98.
President Joe Biden ordered on Thursday that all flags on federal buildings be flown at half staff in honor of Reid.