Former White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was famously shot during the attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan's life in 1981, has died. He was 73.
"Jim touched the lives of so many and has been a wonderful husband, father, friend and role model," his family said in a statement. "We are enormously proud of Jim's remarkable accomplishments - before he was shot on the fateful day in 1981 while serving at the side of President Ronald Reagan and in the days, months and years that followed. Jim Brady's zest for life was apparent to all who knew him, and despite his injuries and the pain he endured every day, he used his humor, wit and charm to bring smiles to others and make the world a better place."
Brady's serious wound meant that he was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.
On Monday, Nancy Reagan recalled the "unspeakable fear" she shared with Brady's wife, Sarah, at the hospital after the assassination attempt, saying "the bond we established then was unlike any other." In a statement, the former first lady also called Brady "the personification of courage and perseverance."
For the remainder of his life, Brady became a leading voice for gun control. In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act into law.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence praised Brady's crusade in a statement, saying that "because of Jim's hard work and the policy that bears his name-the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act-an estimated 2 million gun sales to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people have been blocked. As a result, countless lives have been saved. In fact, there are few Americans in history who are as directly responsible for saving as many lives as Jim."
The briefing room at the White House is also named for the former press secretary.
- Carrie Dann
First published August 4 2014, 10:39 AM