Harry M. Reid, the Democrat who rose from childhood poverty in the rural Nevada desert to the heights of power in Washington, where he steered the Affordable Care Act to passage as Senate majority leader, died on Tuesday in Henderson, Nev. He was 82.
Mr. Reid had been treated for pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed in 2018, but lived to see the Las Vegas airport renamed for him earlier this month. His death was confirmed in statements from Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader.
Even by the standards of the political profession, where against-the-odds biographies are common and modest roots an asset, what Mr. Reid overcame was extraordinary. He was raised in almost Dickensian circumstances in tiny Searchlight, Nev.: His home had no indoor plumbing, his father was an alcoholic miner who eventually committed suicide, and his mother helped the family survive by taking in laundry from local brothels.