James Brady, a former White House press secretary who became a leading advocate for gun control after he was shot in an assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan in 1981 died Monday at the age of 73-years-old. Brady’s family confirmed his death in a statement to ABC News.
“We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim ‘Bear’ Brady has passed away after a series of health issues,” the family’s statement said, adding, “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 humour, wit and charm to bring smiles to others and make the world a better place.”
The assassination attempt against Reagan left Brady in a wheelchair. In 1987, a landmark piece of gun control legislation named after the former press secretary, “The Brady Bill,” was first introduced in Congress. The Brady Bill, which required a five-day waiting period and background checks for handgun purchases was eventually signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993.
In 2001, a pair of gun control organisations Handgun Control, Inc. and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence were renamed the Brady Campaign to honour the activism of Brady and his wife, Sarah. The Brady campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider after the news of his death broke on Monday.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.