Harry Reid’s older brother Don dies at age 85

WASHINGTON — Donald A. Reid of Las Vegas, the brother of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, died Thursday. He was 85.

“I look back at my brother as to what a wonderful example he was to me, as I also look back at a terrible environment (the Reid family was poor in Searchlight) and he and I have loved each other for all of these years,” Harry Reid told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Friday.

“I’m sorry he (Don Reid) is gone,” he said. “But I don’t feel bad that his heart stopped because he was ready.”

Cause of death was not immediately available. Harry Reid said he had been hospitalized recently.

“My brother Don, a wonderful person, had never been one minute in a hospital, prior to those 10 days ago,” the senator said. “He got sick and went from bad to worse and he died.”

Donald Aldro Reid was was born March 9, 1928, in Sandy, Utah. He was one of four Reid brothers who grew up in Searchlight, the children of hard rock miner Harry V. Reid and Inez Reid, a homemaker. He was preceded in death by his brother, Dale Reid, of Las Vegas.

Senator Reid, who turned 74 on Dec. 2, wrote about his older brother in his 2008 memoir, “The Good Fight.” As a young boy, he said he looked up to Don who played basketball for Basic High School.

Don left Searchlight to attend school and enlist in the Marines, Reid wrote. He returned to the town “kind of sophisticated.”

“With his newfound sophistication, he would teach me things I might not have learned otherwise,” Reid wrote. “It was Don who taught me not to spit. And it was Don who taught me not to smoke.”

Donald Reid is survived by his wife of 28 years, Ginger Reid of Las Vegas; two daughters, Lari Dawn Reid and partner Debra Rieser, of Las Vegas, and Barbra Reid Jones and husband, Travis of Dayton; two grandchildren, Matthew and Alexandra Jones of Dayton; and brothers Harry Reid and Larry Reid both of Searchlight.

Visitation will be held at noon Sunday at Palm Mortuary, 7400 W. Cheyenne Ave. A funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. at the mortuary. He will be buried at 1 p.m. Monday at Searchlight Cemetery.

Stephens Washington Bureau reporter Peter Urban and Review-Journal reporter Tom Ragan contributed to this report. Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.

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