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James Brady, former Press Secretary to the White House, dies at age 73

Former Reagan Press Secretary passed away Monday

James Brady, former Press Secretary of the White House and assistant to the President, has died on August 4th, 2014 at the age of 73.

Mr. Brady began his career in politics directly after college, working as staff to Illinois Senator Edward Dirkson. He is fondly remembered by those of the Reagan administration, including Nancy Reagan, who said in a statement, “‘Jim was the personification of courage and perseverance. He and Sarah never gave up, and never stopped caring about the causes in which they believed,’” (Dan Merica, CNN).

Brady only served in the White House for three months before an assassination attempt would derail his career there. On March 30th, 1981, John Hinckley made an infamous attempt on then-President Reagan’s life. Caught in the cross-fire, Brady was shot along with President Reagan and two police officers, taking a bullet to his temple. He survived, but was partially paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Brady went on to champion gun control. Lobbying with his wife in what is called the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, he saw some vindication when then-President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act in 1993. But still, gun control remained a passion of both Jim and Sarah Brady, and they have worked alongside each other in this area since that event.

Truly, an important figure of history has been lost this day, one who’s life was forever caught up in an unprecedented event, the attempted assassination of an American President. And in his death, a bit of our history is buried too, which should give us all pause. An era of history, represented by the great men and women of the Reagan administration, is passing before us, and now is the time to reflect on America and her representatives old and new. Jim Brady the man, though, will be remembered fondly by those who knew him, as he remained stalwart during the rest of his life, and never took his time for granted, pushing passionately for the things he believed in until the very day he died.

For more information about the life of Jim Brady, visit the Brady’s campaign website.

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