Sarah Brady, Wife of Former White House Secretary Jim Brady, Dies

PHOTO: Sarah Brady speaks during a news conference June 27, 1997, in Washington. PlayRon Edmonds/AP Photo
WATCH Jim Brady, Wife Recall Assassination Attempt

Sarah Brady, the widow of former White House Press Secretary James Brady, has died, the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced Friday. She was 73.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a Facebook post: "We are heartbroken over the loss of Sarah Brady, our dear friend and Chairperson of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Sarah was a champion for gun violence prevention and her commitment and fiery compassion will live on."

The organization did not specify a cause of death.

Jim Brady was seriously injured by the assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan and confined to a wheelchair after the incident. He and his wife, Sarah, went on to become dedicated advocates for gun control, and he became the namesake for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Jim Brady died in August 2014.

"All of us at the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence are heartbroken over the passing of Sarah Brady. Together with her husband Jim 'Bear’ Brady, Sarah was the heart and soul of this organization and the successful movement it has become today. In the history of our nation, there are few people, if any, who are directly responsible for saving as many lives as Sarah and Jim," said Brady Campaign and Center President Dan Gross in a statement.

"There are countless people walking around today who would not be were it not for Sarah Brady’s remarkable resilience, compassion and – what she always said she enjoyed the most -- her hard work in the trenches with this organization, which she continued right up to the very end."

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan said Friday she was "deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my dear friend."

"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," Reagan said.

"Sarah and Jim’s path from that day on was, of course, much more difficult than Ronnie’s and mine, but Sarah never complained," Reagan added. "Over the years, I found her to be a woman of immense courage, strength and optimism. I will miss Sarah very much, but take comfort in knowing that she joined Jim on Good Friday and is now at peace."

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically injured when she was shot in the head in January 2011, also expressed her condolences.

"We know Sarah will be missed by all those whose lives she touched and who were so inspired by her commitment to her late husband Jim and to the cause of reducing gun violence in our country," Giffords said in a joint statement with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly -- co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

"Sarah Brady showed us not only what a tireless fight for common sense looks like, but also what it means to be a loving spouse and caretaker in the wake of a senseless tragedy. Our prayers are with her son Scott, her daughter Missy, and the entire Brady Campaign family as they mourn this devastating loss," they added in their statement.

Brady is survived by her and Jim’s son, James “Scott” Brady, Jr., and her stepdaughter, Melissa “Missy” Brady Camins.