GW Law alumnus, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dies at 82

Harry Reid, a longtime Democratic senator from Nevada and a GW Law alumnus, died after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer Tuesday. He was 82.

Reid, a former Senate majority leader, earned his juris doctor from the law school in 1964 and received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University in 2005. Reid was Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress, holding the position of majority leader from 2007 to 2015 and of minority leader from 2005 to 2007 and 2015 to 2017.

As majority leader, Reid helped push forward major legislation in 2009, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Congress passed in response to the Great Recession. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018 and underwent surgery to treat the disease.

“We are so proud of the legacy he leaves behind both on the national stage and his beloved Nevada,” his wife Landra Reid said in a statement. “Harry was deeply touched to see his decades of service to Nevada honored in recent weeks with the renaming of Las Vegas’ airport in his honor.”

Reid was one of 72 recipients of the University’s Monumental Alumni Award earlier this year as part of GW’s bicentennial celebrations.

“He was tough-as-nails strong, but caring and compassionate and always went out of his way quietly to help people who needed help,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

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