James Brady, Former White House Press Secretary Shot in Reagan Assassination Attempt, Dies at 73
James Brady, former press secretary to Ronald Reagan who was severely wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on the President, has died, the White House said on Monday.
He was 73.
Following the shooting of Reagan in Washington that left Brady partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair, he became one of the nation’s most prominent gun-control advocates.
Reagan’s first press secretary, Brady was one of four people hurt when John Hinckley opened fire on Reagan as he left a hotel. He was shot in the head.
Reagan was also seriously wounded and Hinckley has spent the ensuing years confined to a psychiatric hospital.
After leaving the White House, Brady launched the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which pushes for stricter firearms laws.
He inspired the so-called Brady Bill, which was a fiercely fought over 1993 measure that requires background checks for gun purchases.
The White House confirmed Brady’s death and praised his legacy.
“He is somebody who I think really revolutionized this job and even after he was wounded in that attack on the president, 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,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
The Brady Campaign acknowledged his death in a tweet: “We are heartbroken over James Brady’s passing. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Sarah, and their family.”
Brady was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award. The White House press briefing room was named in his honor.
Marlin Fitzwater, Reagan’s longest-serving press secretary, remembered Brady as an enormous talent.
“He knew how information flowed in the city of Washington and he had a great sense of humor that the press liked and respected,” Fitzwater told CNN. “He is a remarkable guy who will be remembered well by everyone who knew him.”
Check back for updates on this developing story.