James Brady, who served as White House press secretary until wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, died Monday after “a series of health issues,” his family said. He was 73.
“Jim touched the lives of so many and has been a wonderful husband, father, friend and role model,” they said. “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.”
Brady was paralyzed when John Hinckley, Jr. fired shots as Reagan and his entourage left a Washington D.C. hotel on March 30, 1981. Four people, including Reagan and Brady, were wounded in the assassination attempt.
In 2000, the White House press briefing room was named after Brady, who was paralyzed in the 1981 shooting and later went on to lead the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“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,” his family said.
His is survived by his wife, Sarah, son, Scott, and daughter, Missy.
“Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as turned adversity into accomplishment,” they said. “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.”