Gun-control activist and widow of James Brady dies at 73

AP News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2015 12:40 AM
Gun-control activist and widow of James Brady dies at 73

Sarah Kemp Brady, who became an activist for gun control after her husband was shot in the head in the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, died Friday.

Brady, 73, died in a retirement community in Alexandria, Virginia, after battling pneumonia, family members said in an email.

Brady's husband, former White House Press Secretary James Brady, died Aug. 4, also at the age of 73.

The 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. left James Brady partially paralyzed.

Four years later, Sarah Brady became involved in gun control. She chaired Handgun Control Inc., which was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as a tribute to the Bradys. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton.

"Sarah courageously stepped up after Jim was shot to prevent others from enduring what our family has gone through, and her work has saved countless lives," the family's statement said. "Sarah was a voice of strength, love and encouragement, and she inspired others, showing that one person could make a difference and change the world — which she did."

Dan Gross, president of Brady Campaign, called Sarah Brady "its guiding light."

"There are countless people walking around today who would not be were it not for Sarah Brady's remarkable resilience, compassion," Gross said.

Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan's widow, recalled the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt.

In a statement emailed by the Reagan Foundation, she wrote: "Just over 34 years ago, we shared an experience that bonded us for life, as we comforted each other in a tiny, windowless office at the George Washington University Hospital Emergency Room, while awaiting word about whether our husbands would survive the horrific gunshots that had brought them there."

Reagan also called Brady "a woman of immense courage, strength and optimism."