Joe Biden Calls Harry Reid 'a Giant of Our History' as Democrats Mourn His Death

President Joe Biden has led tributes to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has passed away at the age of 82 following a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Biden joined other Democrats including the current Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in offering their condolences on Reid's death and praising the former Democratic senator from Nevada.

"A son of Searchlight, Nevada, Harry never forgot his humble roots," Biden said. "A boxer, he never gave up a fight. A great American, he looked at challenges and believed it was within our capacity to do good—to do right."

"May God bless Harry Reid, a dear friend and a giant of our history," the president wrote.

Schumer said in a statement shared to Twitter: "Harry Reid was one of the most amazing individuals I've ever met. He was tough-as-nails strong, but caring and compassionate and always went out of his way quietly to help people who needed help."

"He was a boxer who came from humble origins, but he never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor and the middle class," Schumer went on.

"He was my leader, my mentor, one of my dearest friends," the senator said. "He's gone but will walk by the sides of many of us in the Senate every day."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that "America lost a titan of public service."

"Senator Harry Reid was a leader of immense courage and ferocious conviction who worked tirelessly to achieve historic progress for the American people," Pelosi tweeted.

"Over more than four decades of public service, he was guided always by his North Star: to improve the lives of working families like his own. He will be remembered as one of the most impactful Leaders of the Senate in history helping to steer it w/ reverence, principle & command," she said.

Former President Barack Obama, who worked closely with Reid during his time in office, shared a letter he had written to Reid at the behest of the late senator's wife, Landra Reid, toward the end of his life.

"Here's what I want you to know," Obama wrote. "You were a great leader in the Senate, and early on you were more generous to me than I had any right to expect. I wouldn't have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn't have gotten most of what I got done without your skill and determination.

"Enjoy your family, and know that you are loved by a lot of people, including me. The world is better cause of what you've done. Not bad for a skinny, poor kid from Searchlight."

"Our country has lost an honorable public servant," said Vice President Kamala Harris. "Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid always fought for working families and the poor. Leader Reid was kind, generous, and always to the point. Landra and the entire Reid family are in our thoughts."

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: "Sometimes, in a quiet or difficult moment, Harry Reid would reach out. It was like he knew.

"His counsel, encouragement, kindness, and generosity was so deeply moving. It was sincere. And I will never forget it. Thank you, Senator Reid. Wishing peace and strength to his family."

"Our country lost a dedicated statesman and patriot today," said Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). "Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was a fighter for the American people, who stood up for working families everywhere. Angela and I send our condolences to his wife Landra Reid and entire Reid family."

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted: "I feel so lucky to have served under Harry Reid, and so sad he's gone."

Murphy went on to relate a story about speaking to Reid in 2016 about his plan to filibuster on guns following the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Murphy said that after he spoke to Reid about the idea, the late senator "spent the rest of day relentlessly pressuring [Mitch] McConnell agree to my demands for votes on background checks bills."

"By midnight, Reid had succeeded," Murphy wrote. "He got the votes. The lesson I learned—there's nothing like having Harry Reid in your corner."

Update 12/29/21, 03.41a.m. E.T.: This article was updated to include more tributes to Harry Reid.

Harry Reid Pictured with Biden in 2016
Former Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (L) shares a moment with then Vice President Joseph Biden (R) during Reid's leadership portrait unveiling ceremony December 8, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Reid has passed away at the age of 82. Alex Wong/Getty Images

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