This post has been corrected to properly source quotes and phrasing that was copied from The New Yorker and Reid’s autobiography.
BuzzFeed takes its responsibility to readers very seriously, and plagiarism is a major breach of that responsibility. Please read our apology to readers here.
But before anyone thinks messing with Reid will be easy, here are seven thing y’all best remember.
1. Reid had a tougher childhood than you.
Harry Reid was born in the damn middle of the desert.
The town was called Searchlight, Nev.
He was the third son in an incredibly poor family that lived in a shack one step up from Lincoln’s log cabin.
Reid’s father was a poor miner. At age 11, Reid worked in the mine with his dad wearing a lantern on his head, mucking and panning for gold.
The town he was raised in had no high school, so Reid hitchhiked 60 miles per week to the town with the nearest school.
2. Harry Reid can kick your ass.
Reid was an amateur lightweight boxer and fought 20 fights between Utah and Vegas.
3. Reid will fight you in a bar.
Reid admits to getting “called out” from bars in his youth for fights. “I was raised where you settled your differences physically, and I still have a little of that in me and I’m fighting that all the time.”
4. Reid punched his future father-in-law in the face.
The father would not let Reid marry his daughter, Landra Gould, because the Gould’s were Jewish and Reid was not. Landra and Harry eloped to Utah and are still married to this day.
5. Reid protected the U.S. Capitol with a gun.
This meant Reid spent a few years of his young adult life protecting the building where he would eventually lead the upper chamber.
6. Reid choked a son of a bitch.
When Reid was offered a bribe as Nevada gaming commissioner in 1978, he called in the FBI to set up a sting. During the sting operation, Reid lunged across the table and attempted to choke the briber while yelling:
According to The New Yorker, “startled” FBI agents stopped him. “I was so angry with him for thinking he could bribe me,” Reid said, explaining his theatrical outburst.
Harry Reid had another Hollywood moment in the movie Traffic. This was Reid’s raw line about what the public wants to see happen to drug dealers:
7. Reid survived a car bomb that might have been set up by the mafia.
Reid’s wife discovered a car bomb wired to her gas tank in 1981.
The bomb was crude and did not go off, but Reid suspected that his run-ins with the mob had something to do with it.
So no matter what you think politically of old, quiet Harry Reid, just remember: He is kind of a badass.
And he will find you.
Events and quotes taken from Reid’s memoir, The Good Fight.
- Churches across the US are prepping an underground railroad system for immigrants who fear deportation under Trump.
- The widow of a Kansas immigrant allegedly killed by a white nationalist demanded answers from the government about stopping hate crimes.
- At a rally in NYC, trans New Yorkers asked for support from the broader LGBT community — something they haven't always gotten.
- Barack Obama took Malia to see a Broadway show and everyone is talking about how refreshed he's looking 😎