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Gun-Control Pioneer James Brady Dies

  • VOA News

FILE - This March 30, 2011 file photo shows former White House press secretary James Brady, left, who was left paralyzed in the Reagan assassination attempt, looking at his wife Sarah Brady, during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

The White House press secretary who was shot and suffered a devastating head wound in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, James Brady, has died at 73.

Brady's family says he died Monday. They say he suffered from a number of health problems.

He was near President Reagan outside a Washington hotel when a gunman, John Hinckley, opened fire in an unsuccessful attempt to kill the president. Reagan was hit twice but recovered, while Brady was left paralyzed and permanently disabled.

Brady went on to conduct a life-long campaign for tighter U.S. gun controls. A U.S. law requiring background checks on gun buyers bears his name, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is named after him.

After the attack on March 30, 1981 just two months into Reagan's presidency, Brady returned to the White House only briefly. But he was allowed to keep the title of presidential press secretary and his salary until Reagan left office in early 1989. The White House press briefing room is named after him.

Hinckley, the gunman, is now 59 and remains in U.S. custody at a psychiatric institution in Washington.