Gun-control pioneer James Brady died on Monday at the age of 73.
Brady, the former White House press secretary for president Ronald Reagan, was permanently disabled after he was shot in the head during an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981.
Following the incident, Brady became an outspoken advocate for stricter gun laws, including bans on many widely popular and commonly owned sporting rifles. The gun-control organization known as The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was named in his honor.
His family released a statement saying that he “passed away after a series of health issues.”
“Jim touched the lives of so many and has been a wonderful husband, father, friend and role model,” his family wrote in the statement. “We are enormously proud of Jim’s remarkable accomplishments — before he was shot on the fateful day in 1981 while serving at the side of President Ronald Reagan and in the days, months and years that followed.
“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,” the family stated. “Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as he turned adversity into accomplishment.”
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a D.C.-based gun-control organization, also released a statement.
“It breaks our hearts to receive word that Jim Brady has passed away at the age of 73. Every gun violence prevention advocate owes a debt to Mr. Brady, who was the epitome of courage and determination in pushing for critical reforms like the Brady Law that helped to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” wrote the CSGV.
“On his last visit to Capitol Hill, Mr. Brady admonished us all to ‘fight fiercely’ in our struggle for gun reform,” it continued. “Let us all live up to his wishes and create the America that he yearned for so passionately.”