James Brady, the former White House press secretary who was famously shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan, died Monday at the age of 73.
Brady was the 15th White House press secretary, but was paralyzed in the 1981 assassination attempt, just a few months into the job, leaving him unable to serve. He continued to hold the title throughout Reagan’s administration until 1989, but had two under-secretaries perform his duties.
He and his wife Sarah became ardent gun control advocates in the years following the assassination attempt. Brady is the namesake of the Brady Handgun Violence Protect Act, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Brady Bill established background check and waiting period requirements for the purchase of handguns.
Watch Clinton and Brady at the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Protect Act below:
The James S. Brady Briefing Room in the White House was also named after him in 2000.
“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,” a Brady family statement reads, which can be read in full below.
BREAKING: Former White House Press Secretary James Brady has died at age 73, his family says pic.twitter.com/L8G76g4G6k
â€” NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 4, 2014
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan also issued a statement on Brady's death.
"Jim was the personification of courage and perseverance. He and Sarah never gave up, and never stopped caring about the cases in whcih they believed," Reagan says in the statement.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 4, 2014