Washington: Former White House press secretary, James S Brady, who was gravely wounded in President Ronald Reagan assassination attempt, was a legend at the White House for his warmth and professionalism, President Barack Obama has said.
The White House press briefing room is named after Brady, who was one of four people hurt when Reagan was shot at outside a Washington hotel. He died 73.
“Jim is a legend at the White House for his warmth and professionalism as press secretary for President Reagan; for the strength he brought to bear in recovering from the shooting that nearly killed him 33 years ago; and for turning the events of that terrible afternoon into a remarkable legacy of service through the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,” Obama said in a statement yesterday.
“Since 1993, the law that bears Jim’s name has kept guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim,” he said.
Vice President, Joe Biden, remembered Brady’s contribution against gun violence.
“Because of the Brady’s leadership and the gun violence prevention law named in Jim’s honour, sensible background checks to date have kept 2 million guns out of the wrong hands,” Biden said.
Brady defined the role of the modern press secretary, said White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, in a joint statement along with other former occupant to the post.
“With his passing we lost a friend and mentor, and the country lost a selfless public servant who dedicated his life to service, even in the face of tragedy. Jim always did his job with the highest integrity,” the joint statement said.
“He had a true affection and respect for the press, relished a good sparring with the front row, and was an unfailing defender of the President and the value of a free press. Jim set the model and standard for the rest of us to follow.
It’s been a genuine honour for each of us to stand at the podium in the briefing room that will always bear his name,” the statement said.
Saddened to learn of the death of Brady, former President Bill Clinton, said Brady transformed his own personal tragedy into an opportunity to inspire change – for more than three decades he encouraged all to create a more just and secure nation, free from handgun violence.
“I was proud to sign the Brady Bill into law in 1993, honoured to award Jim the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996, and grateful to call this good and courageous man my friend.
My thoughts and prayers are with Sarah, Scott, Melissa, and his entire family,” he said.