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7 Badass Things You Should Not Forget About Harry Reid

He can kick your ass.

Posted on July 17, 2013, at 4:36 p.m. ET

Editors' Note

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.

The senate majority leader had a long week levying the Nuclear Option against Republicans who are filibustering Obama's nominations.

But before anyone thinks messing with Reid will be easy, here are seven thing y'all best remember.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

1. Reid had a tougher childhood than you.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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.

"The black eyes and soreness to me were badges of honor to wear the next day, and I’d fight every chance I got,” he wrote in his autobiography.

He also broke a few ribs.

See the resemblance?

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.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

When a young Harry Reid attended Law school at George Washington University he found it very hard to pay his bills.

So he signed on as a Capitol Police Officer and served on night shift after class.

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.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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.

Reid's time as the Nevada gaming commissioner was the eventual inspiration for a number of scenes from the movie Casino.

Here is a two-minute idea of what Reid inspired (almost word for word).

View this video on YouTube

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.

Molly Riley/MCT

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.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

And he will find you.

Julie Jacobson / AP

Events and quotes taken from Reid's memoir, The Good Fight.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.