(ABC News) -- James Brady, the former White House press secretary who survived being shot in the head during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, died today at age 73.
Brady was seriously injured by the assassination attempt and confined to a wheelchair after the incident.
"We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim 'Bear' Brady has passed away after a series of health issues," Brady's family said in a statement.
ABC News | More ABC News Videos
"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," the statement said.
Brady became the namesake for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a non-profit that works toward gun control, and the Brady Bill, a law passed in 1993 which required a five-day waiting period and background checks on handgun purchases.
He and his wife, Sarah, spent years lobbying Congress for stricter gun control laws.