Reagan White House Press Secretary James Brady Dead at 73

Reagan White House Press Secretary James Brady Dead at 73

On August 4 the family of Reagan White House Press Secretary James S. Brady announced Brady had died at age 73.

According to Politico, Brady’s family said:

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 farewell. 

On March 30, 1981, Brady was shot in the head with a .22 caliber bullet while exiting the Washington, D.C., Hilton Hotel during John Hinckley Jr.’s attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life.

Following the assassination attempt, Brady and his wife became staunch gun control proponents. With their efforts, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed and signed into law in 1993. This law went into effect in 1994 and requires a background check be performed on every individual who wants to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer. 

The checks it spawned in 1998 were those of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) overseen by the FBI. These checks are still in place and must be passed by anyone wishing to buy a gun from a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder.

Brady and his wife also formed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has become one of the most active gun control groups in the U.S. in the 21st century. 

Brady “did not return to the podium” following the assassination attempt on Reagan’s life, but “he kept the title of press secretary throughout the Reagan administration.” He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton in 1996.

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