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Activist widow of James Brady dies

Published 04/04/2015

Sarah Brady and her husband former White House press secretary James Brady seen during a news conference in Miami in October 2000 (AP)
Sarah Brady and her husband former White House press secretary James Brady seen during a news conference in Miami in October 2000 (AP)

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, has died.

The 73-year-old died yesterday in a retirement community in Alexandria, Virginia, after battling pneumonia, family members said.

Her husband, former White House press secretary James Brady, died on August 4, also at the age of 73.

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

Four years later, Sarah Brady became involved in gun control. She chaired Handgun Control, 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' 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."

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

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."

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