A key advocate of gun control James Brady has passed away. He was 73 years old.
A native of Centralia, Illinois, Brady was the White House Press Secretary when he was shot in 1981, while serving under former President Ronald Reagan.
“America has lost a hero and Illinois has lost a favorite son," said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin in a statement.
In 1993, former President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act -- named for Brady. It requires a background check before the purchase of a gun from a licenses firearms dealer.
Brady also worked to help those with disabilities.
According to a statement from Brady's family, he passed away after a series of health issues.
The statement reads, in part:
"Jim touched the lives of so many and has been a wonderful husband, father, friend and role model. 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."
A private service will be followed later this year by a public celebration of Jim Brady’s life.