Former White House press secretary James Brady has died at 73.
James Brady was shot in the head in a 1981 attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life.
His family said James Brady, who was left wheelchair-bound in the shooting, died after an undisclosed illness.
James Brady, who served in three Republican administrations, became an advocate for stricter gun control.
He lobbied for a law signed in 1993 that bore his name and required background checks for handgun sales.
In 2000, Democratic President Bill Clinton renamed the White House press briefing room in his honor.
President Barack Obama described James Brady as a “legend” at the White House and praised his warmth and professionalism and “the strength he brought to bear in recovering from the shooting that nearly killed him”.
“Since 1993, the law that bears Jim’s name has kept guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” he said.
“An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.”
James Brady, a lifelong Republican, served in the Nixon and Ford administrations and as a Senate aide before joining Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.
On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. opened fire on the president’s party outside a Washington hotel, striking four people, including James Brady and Ronald Reagan.
James Brady was the most seriously wounded. Ronald Reagan was shot in one lung. Two law enforcement officers suffered lesser wounds.
Photos and video of the incident show a wounded James Brady sprawled on the ground as Secret Service agents rushed Ronald Reagan into his vehicle and others wrestled John Hinckley Jr. to the ground.
The former press secretary suffered brain damage, partial paralysis, short-term memory impairment and slurred speech.
John Hinckley Jr. was tried and found not guilty due to insanity. Since the trial he has been committed to a Washington DC psychiatric hospital, but has been allowed to spend limited time at his mother’s home.
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