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At the US Capitol, Harry Reid is the 'Legendary Leader'

WASHINGTON (AP), -- Former Senator Harry Reid was recalled Wednesday by colleagues and friends to remember the hardworking Democrat who rose from poverty in a Nevada mining town to the highest position in the Senate.

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At the US Capitol, Harry Reid is the 'Legendary Leader'

Reid was laid in state at Capitol Rotunda, while Vice President Kamala Hariri, senators, and others joined the ceremony that was closed to the public according to COVID-19 protocols. Reid, who was 82 years old, succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Speaker, stated that "to see him lead and legislate is to see a master in work."

Pelosi stated that Harry Reid "made the world a better" Pelosi called Reid "a legendary leader with great integrity."

Reid was the Senate majority leader and served longer than any other member of his state's Congress. He was the Senate's most important legislative leader, helping to secure the Great Recession economic recovery bill and President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law.

Pelosi was a partner in crime with Reid, and they led their respective chambers for many years.

President Joe Biden described Reid as a "great American," someone who looked at the world's challenges and believed it was possible to do good.

Biden, Obama, and others, at a Las Vegas funeral service, recalled Reid's most well-known trait: abruptly ending conversations with people, even presidents. Instead of saying long goodbyes, they hung up.

Reid's few words were fiery and flinty. He didn't hesitate to criticize presidents (he called George W. Bush "loser"), call the fossil fuel industry "coal makes us sick" or declare that the war in Iraq was "lost."

Reid, who was influential in his retirement, suggested that Biden should only give his new presidency three weeks to work with Republicans. Reid stated that Biden should push for changes to the Senate's filibuster rules in order to allow simple majority voting rights legislation and elections.

Reid stated to The Associated Press that he expects the time to come when he will have to move in to get rid of the filibuster.

Reid was born in Searchlight, a desolate mining community. His father, a hard-rock miner, committed suicide. His mother was a laundry woman who did the laundry at home to make bordellos. (Reid, along with other children, would swim in a brothel pool. He said that Searchlight had seen better days.

His family and town did not have any churches. However, a picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt hanging in Reid's home would have a profound impact on his political career.

Reid traveled 40 miles by hitchhiking to get to high school. He then joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he was completing college and law school. After being denied a date with Landra, Reid was an amateur boxer and once fought his father-in-law. They were married for 62 consecutive years.

Landra Reid wore a black hat in Wednesday's ceremony. She sat with her five adult children in the Rotunda.

Reid was first elected to the House in 1982. He was reelected in 1984. Reid served 30 years in Senate, including a decade serving as the Senate Democratic Leader.

Reid also rewrote Nevada's map by expanding public lands, stopping the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project outside of Las Vegas, and securing national monument status for Michael Heizer’s "City” installation in the desert. He quietly made sure federal money was used to study UFOs.

Reid, a man of few words wrote many notes to his family, friends, and colleagues. To protect young immigrants from deportation, he championed Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the Dream Act.

Reid built a Democratic legacy in Nevada with the early presidential caucus, as his power grew. For its political power and ability to elect the next generation, Reid left behind the state party apparatus known as the "Reid Machine".

Reid declared that he will not run for reelection in 2016, despite a serious exercise accident at his home and Democrats back in the Senate minority.

He acknowledged that he had done things "probably a lot more people wouldn't do" but he gave his advice to anyone who was curious about how he got from Searchlight to Washington.

"It wasn't because of my good looks. I'm not a genius. Reid stated that I was able to make it because I worked hard." "Whatever you are trying to achieve, work as hard as possible to make it happen.

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