Thursday, April 10, 2014 | 10:46 a.m.
CARSON CITY — Joe Dini, who served as speaker of the Nevada Assembly for eight sessions, has died at the age of 85 after a long illness.
His death was announced today at a meeting of the Legislative Interim Finance Committee in Las Vegas. The committee paused for a moment of silence.
Dini died today in Reno.
Dini served in the Assembly from 1967 until 2001, a span that included 18 regular and four special sessions. He served as speaker in 1977 and from 1987 to 1999.
Dini, a Democrat, lived in Yerington and represented an Assembly District that included Lyon and Storey counties and part of Carson City.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement saying he was saddened by the loss of his good friend.
"A true legislator, he understood that legislation is the art of compromise and as a moderate Democrat, Joe worked with fellow legislators and governors from both sides of the aisle," Reid said. "I can think of no higher praise than when the late Bill Raggio said Joe had ‘one of the greatest legislative careers in the state of Nevada,’ and I agree. He devoted his life to public service and always had every Nevadans' interests at heart. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”
In 1996, Dini was ranked one of the 10 most influential Nevadans in a survey by the Las Vegas Sun.
Starting in 1960, he operated Dini’s Lucky Club, a casino in Yerington that he inherited from his father. The casino has been owned by his sons George and Jay since 2007. George Dini is the mayor of Yerington.
Joe Dini is survived by his wife, Mouryne, and sons Jay, George, David and Michael.