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Former White House press secretary James Brady, whose severe wounding during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan led to the gun control campaign that bears his name, has died at age 73, his family said in a statement Monday.

The family statement cited "a series of health issues" for the long-time political spokesman who was badly injured by the gunfire of 33 years ago.

"Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as he turned adversity into accomplishment," said the family statement.

Current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Brady "really revolutionized this job," and set a standard that successors have tried to emulate.

The White House press room is named in Brady's honor. So does the federal law that requires background checks on handgun buyers.

As for Brady's long-time campaign for gun control, Earnest said he "showed his patriotism and his commitment to the country."

(Copyright © 2014 USA TODAY)

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