Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will lie in Capitol Rotunda

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who died last week, will lie in state in the United States Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 12, congressional leaders announced on Sunday.

Reid, a Democrat and Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress, died “peacefully” at the age of 82 surrounded by friends on Dec. 28 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife Landra Reid announced last week.

Current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in a joint press release that Reid’s ceremony will be an invite-only affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Senator Harry Reid was a titan of public service, who for more than four decades fought relentlessly for working families like his own,” said Pelosi in the statement.  

“It is my solemn honor as House Speaker to pay tribute to a legendary leader, a great American and my dear friend, Senator Harry Reid.”

 A family walks on the grass in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Reid, Nevada’s longest-serving member of Congress, will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda Jan. 12.
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“He was tough-as-nails strong, but caring and compassionate, and always went out of his way quietly to help people who needed help,” Schumer said. “Harry never forgot where he came from, and I will miss my dear friend and mentor greatly. Few dedicated their life and career to working for and delivering for working families like Harry Reid, and it will be an honor to pay tribute to him in the Capitol next week.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid looks up the steps as he awaits the arrival of other Democratic members of the US House of Representatives and US Senate.
Reid was voted the youngest lieutenant governor in Nevada history under Gov. Mike O’Callaghan in 1970.
CNP / Polaris

Reid’s political career spanned over three decades in the House and the Senate before he retired in 2017. He served as the senate majority leader for most of the Obama administration between 2006 and 2014.

Reid, who was once an amateur boxer, built a reputation for a brusque and bruising political style while in office.

He built a brand as a conservative but combative Democrat, drawing ire from the GOP when he falsely declared on the Senate floor that Mitt Romney had not paid his taxes in the past decade during his 2012 presidential campaign.

He was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1968 as a product of the Las Vegas Democratic political machine and two years later was voted the youngest lieutenant governor in state history under Gov. Mike O’Callaghan.

In Dec. 2021, the Las Vegas airport was renamed Harry Reid International Airport but the ailing Reid wasn’t able to attend the dedication ceremony.