10 Things You Didn't Know About Harry Reid

The Democratic Senate majority leader is in a tough re-election battle

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1. Harry Mason Reid was born in a tin-roofed, wooden cabin in Searchlight, Nev., on Dec. 12, 1939, to Harry and Inez Reid, a hard-rock miner and a washerwoman.

2. Reid attended a two-room school and had one teacher for eight grades. His hometown didn't have a high school, so he attended Basic High School in Henderson, Nev., and lived with local families during the week.

3. In 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Landra Gould. They have one daughter and four sons.

4. He earned an associate's degree from Southern Utah State College in 1959, then enrolled at Utah State University, where he earned a B.S. He then went to George Washington University School of Law, paying for tuition by working nights as a U.S. Capitol police officer, and graduated with a J.D. in 1964.

5. After serving as city attorney for Henderson, Reid was elected to the Nevada State Assembly in 1968. Two years later, at the age of 30, he was elected the youngest lieutenant governor in Nevada's history.

6. In 1972, after a bout of depression, Reid's father killed himself. Reid didn't speak about his father's suicide publicly until 1996.

7. From 1977 to 1982, Reid was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

8. Reid was elected to the Senate in 1986 and is now in his fourth term.

9. In 2007, Reid was chosen Senate majority leader in a unanimous vote by Democrats.

10. A Mormon blog, Times and Seasons, voted Reid "Mormon of the Year" for 2009. 

Sources:

  • HarryReid.com
  • Project Vote Smart
  • New York Times
  • www.reid.senate.gov