A family spokesperson said James Brady, press secretary for Ronald Reagan, has died at 73.

Brady was shot in the head in 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan.

Brady survived the near-fatal shooting, but was bound to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life because of partial paralysis from the injury. 

After his recovery, Brady led a campaign to reduce gun violence. His efforts helped secure passage of a 1993 measure instituting background checks for gun purchases -- the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act.

Brady was the most gravely injured in the shooting by John Hinkley Jr., including President Reagan himself.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest issued praise for his predecessor in his Monday briefing with reporters.

The White House press briefing room was named after Brady in 2000.

Brady was said to be in failing health.