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James Brady: Former White House Press Secretary Dead At 73

Mon, August 4, 2014 3:11pm EDT by Chris Rogers Add first Comment
James Brady Dead

So sad! Former White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was left permanently disabled after he was shot during an assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has died at the age 0f 73, his family announced on Aug. 4. Read on for their statement.

Former White House Press Secretary James Brady passed away on Aug. 4 at the age of 73, according to a new statement from his family. James, who fought for gun control after his tragic shooting injuries in 1981, will always be remembered as a true hero of our time.

James Brady Dead — Former White House Press Secretary Dies At 73

A family statement posted on NBC Nightly News‘ Twitter page reads: “We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim ‘Bear’ Brady has passed away after a series of health issues. His wife, Sarah, son, Scott, and daughter, Missy, are so thankful to have had the opportunity to say their farewells.”

James served as White House press secretary and assistant to the president under former President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989. During an assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981, James was shot in the head and left permanently disabled, with slurred speech and partial paralysis that required him to use a wheelchair. However, by the time of his death, James had recovered the ability to walk, as well as almost all of his speech and cognitive functions.

After he was shot, James fought long and hard for gun control. He spent years pushing for the Brady Bill, which requires a five-day waiting period and a background check before a prospective buyer can purchase a handgun, The Huffington Post reports.

That bill was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1993.

James Brady’s Family Releases Statement

James’ family released the following statement on Aug. 4:

Jim touched the lives of so many and has been a wonderful husband, father, friend and role model. 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.

Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as he turned adversity into accomplishment. Whether working to prevent others from becoming victims of gun violence, mentoring his Sigma Chi brothers, or working to improve the lives of Americans with disabilities, Jim used his many talents and can-do attitude to make a difference in the lives of others. We believe with all our hearts that he did.

While we mourn the loss of our Bear, we take comfort in the time we had with him and the marked impact he had on us and so many other lives. He will forever live on in our memories and in the powerful example he set for all of us.

Our thoughts go out to James’ friends and family during this difficult time.

— Chris Rogers

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