Published January 13, 2015
Senator Harry Reid is the second highest ranking Democrat in the United States Senate, serving as the assistant Democratic leader. He was elected to the Senate in 1986, and currently is serving his third term.
As the Democratic whip, Reid helps guide legislation through the Senate and secures the votes to pass key measures.
Since entering the Senate in 1986, Reid has fought for the rights and interests of children, families, and workers. He has worked to reverse Nevada's school dropout rate by sponsoring legislation to establish a national program for dropout prevention. He has fought to bring funding for construction of schools and for hiring more qualified teachers in Nevada.
In health care, Reid has fought for the Patients' Bill of Rights as well as increased funding for cancer research, suicide prevention, and mental health initiatives. Reid has also fought for issues concerning senior citizens, including prescription drug coverage, long termcare, and Social Security.
Reid has established programs to preserve clean air and water, especially in Nevada's Lake Tahoe. In addition, he has fought to keep nuclear waste out of Nevada.
Reid won the first of two terms in the United States House of Representatives in 1983. Prior to that he served a few years in a private law practice. In 1977, he was appointed Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission where, for five years, he made headlines for his pursuit to clean up Nevada's gaming industry.
In 1970, at the age of 30, Reid became the youngest lieutenant governor in Nevada history after serving just two years in the Nevada State Assembly. Before taking elected office, Reid served as City Attorney for Henderson, NE, the town where he attended high school, and whose business community leaders helped pay for his college education.
Reid graduated from Utah State University in 1961 and went on to get a law degree from George Washington University. During his years as a law student, Harry Reid acquainted himself with Capitol Hill by working nights as a police officer.
Reid and his wife Landra have five children and nine grandchildren.