WASHINGTON: James Brady, the former press secretary for President Ronald Reagan and gun-control advocate for whom the White House press briefing room was renamed in 2000, died on Monday at the age of 73, according to numerous reports.
Brady suffered a gunshot wound to the head in the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981. The resulting brain damage caused paralysis and remanded him to a wheelchair. Yet it did not stop him from championing the "Brady bill," the law passed in 1993 that mandated a waiting period and background checks for prospective gun owners.
Brady’s tenure as press secretary lasted through the end of the Reagan administration in 1989. Though he did not perform the day-to-day duties of the role after the assassination attempt on Reagan, successors Larry Speakes and Marlin Fitzwater held the position on an interim basis.
Brady previously served as a staffer for various Republican elected officials.
Details of his death were not immediately available, according to The Washington Post.
"We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim 'Bear' Brady has passed away after a series of health issues," Brady’s family said in a statement to ABC News. "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."
Fellow former White House press secretaries and communications staffers shared their condolences on Twitter on Monday.
Very sad news about Jim Brady, a fine press secretary, fierce advocate with Sarah & good-hearted, brave man. http://t.co/2xlhh7TdJS.— Jay Carney (@JayCarney) August 4, 2014
RIP James Brady. What an example of public service he set in the briefing room named after him. He'll be sorely missed & fondly remembered.— Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) August 4, 2014
Very sad to hear about the passing of former @WhiteHouse press secretary and gun control advocate James Brady. May he rest peace.— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) August 4, 2014
Sad to hear about Jim Brady's death. He was kind to me when I was a young reporter, and later became an inspiring voice for sane gun laws.— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 4, 2014