The former press secretary of late president Ronald Reagan and well-known gun control advocate James Brady passed away Monday at the age of 73.
Brady was with Reagan on March 30, 1981, when John Hinckley, Jr. opened fire in an attempt to shoot President Reagan. Brady was struck in the head by a bullet, leaving him seriously injured and confined to a wheelchair.
Following the shooting, both Brady and his wife, Sarah, became dedicated to the cause of gun control, founding the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
The family issued a statement where they reflected on Brady’s life.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim ‘Bear’ Brady has passed away after a series of health issues,” Brady’s family said in a statement today. “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.”
Dan Gross, the head of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said that, through Brady’s work on gun control, “countless lives have been saved,” adding that “an estimated 2 million gun sales to criminals, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people have been blocked.”
President Barack Obama called Brady “a legend at the White House” who was known for his warmth and professionalism as press secretary for President Reagan.
The press briefing room where Brady spent many days as secretary speaking with media was named after Brady in 2000.
Current secretary Josh Earnest said that Brady “revolutionized” the job.
“Even after he was wounded in that attack on the president, [Brady] was somebody who showed his patriotism and commitment to the country by being very outspoken on an issue that was important to him and that he felt very strongly about,” he said.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond