Harry Reid was born and resides in Searchlight, Nev. He earned an associate degree in science from Southern Utah State College and a bachelor's degree from Utah State University. While earning a law degree from George Washington University, Reid worked as a Capitol police officer.
Reid served as Henderson city attorney from 1964 to 1966. He was in the Nevada Assembly from 1969 to 1970, when he was elected lieutenant governor. He was chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981.
Reid was elected to the U.S. House in 1982 and served two terms before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1986.
Reid suffered a mild stroke in August 2005.
He and his wife, Landra, have five children.
Harry Reid earned a six-point victory in 2010 over tea party-backed Sharron Angle, an election in which Republicans hoped to write the Democrat's political obituary. Instead, Reid secured a fifth term as a Nevada senator and avoided becoming the first Senate majority leader to lose re-election in 58 years.
Reid was the GOP's top target in 2010, and for months he appeared vulnerable as Nevada struggled to claw out of the recession, which saw record unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies.
But Angle, a former state assemblywoman, came under furious attack by Reid's well-honed campaign immediately after she won a crowded GOP primary. Angle was painted as an extremist and a heartless budget slasher who would abandon the elderly. Angle also never gained the full support of many in her own party, who openly backed Reid for the clout he delivered to his home state.
The day after the election, Reid said, "I've been in some pretty tough fights in my day. They've been in the street, been in a boxing ring and been in the United State Senate. But I have to admit, this has been one of the toughest."
In May 2012 after President Barack Obama became the first president to endorse same-sex marriage, Reid said he personally believes a marriage should be between a man and a woman but that states should decide whether same sex couples can legally marry. He said people should marry whomever they want, and that, in his words, "it's no business of mine if two men or two women want to get married." Reid also said his children and grandchildren already take marriage equality as a given and that their view is a glimpse of the future. In 2004 he helped stop a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages.
Reid supports the DREAM Act to create a pathway to citizenship for some children of illegal immigrants, and backed Obama's executive order in June 2012 deferring deportation of some young illegal immigrants. Reid was critical of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down most of Arizona's tough immigration law but let stand a provision requiring law enforcement to check the status of people detained for other reasons, saying it would invite racial profiling.
In 2011 Reid was at the center of contentious political standoffs involving budget battles, the debt ceiling and tax breaks. Possible government shutdowns and default on the country's debt loomed before 11th-hour compromises were reached.
Even before Obama said in his 2011 State of the Union speech that he'd veto any bill with lawmaker-targeted spending projects known as earmarks, Reid told reporters the president "has enough power already," and that the president's overture was a "lot of pretty talk." The following day, he told a television interview that Obama should "back off."
Reid has long held that the Constitution gives Congress authority to appropriate money for specific projects in states.
In a February 2011 speech to the Nevada Legislature, Reid took aim at the world's oldest profession, telling lawmakers — as brothel owners and high-heeled working girls listened from the gallery — that an adult conversation was needed about Nevada's legal sex trade if the state hopes to have success in the 21st century. In his autobiography, Reid, a Mormon, wrote about growing up in the mining hamlet of Searchlight, Nev., and learning to swim in the pool at a bordello. His mother took in laundry from the 13 brothels around town. But when the nation thinks about Nevada, Reid said, "it should think about the world's newest ideas and newest careers — not about its oldest profession."
Reid helped push the passage of the 2010 health care reform bill, which polls showed was opposed by a majority of Nevada voters.
He has championed efforts to develop alternative energy sources and fiercely opposed efforts to build a repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
Committee Assignments: Select Intelligence
American Conservative Union Rating: 0
Americans for Democratic Action Rating: 95
Harry Reid is not up for re-election in 2014.
(Last updated by The Associated Press on June 16, 2014.)