(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

A former White House Press Secretary, shot during an assassination attempt on President Reagan, has died.

FOX News Radio's Jared Halpern has more from the White House:

(AP Photo/Walt Zebowski, File)
(AP Photo/Walt Zebowski, File)

James Brady had not been the chief spokesman for President Reagan long when he was shot in the head outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. After surviving, Brady became a champion of gun control. A federal background check law bears his name.

(Earnest) "He leaves the kind of legacy that I think, that certainly this Press Secretary and all other future Press Secretaries will aspire to live up to."

From the Press Briefing Room here, named for James Brady, Press Secretary Josh Earnest says Brady revolutionized the job.

Brady was 73. His family says he died after a series of health issues.

At the White House, Jared Halpern, FOX News Radio.

READ a statement from the Brady family on the death of former White House Press Secretary James S. Brady:

"We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim "Bear" Brady has passed away after a series of health issues.  His wife, Sarah, son, Scott, and daughter, Missy, are so thankful to have had the opportunity to say their farewells.

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.

Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as he turned adversity into accomplishment.  Whether working to prevent others from becoming victims of gun violence, mentoring his Sigma Chi brothers, or working to improve the lives of Americans with disabilities, Jim used his many talents and can-do attitude to make a difference in the lives of others.  We believe with all our hearts that he did.

While we mourn the loss of our Bear, we take comfort in the time we had with him and the marked impact he had on us and so many other lives.  He will forever live on in our memories and in the powerful example he set for all of us."

READ a statement by President Obama on the passing of James Brady:

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former White House Press Secretary James Brady on his passing.  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.  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.

Every day, reporters and White House staffers walk past a plaque marking the day in 2000 that the White House Briefing Room was renamed the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.  It reads, "May his courage and dedication continue to inspire all who work in this room and beyond."  Those words will endure, as will his legacy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's wife Sarah, who has been Jim's steadfast partner in advocacy, and their children Scott and Melissa. "

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