Sarah Brady, gun-control proponent and wife of former White House press secretary, dies at 73

Sarah Brady, who helped found the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence along with her late husband, former White House press secretary Jim Brady, died Friday at the age of 73.

A statement from Sarah Brady's family says she died after battling pneumonia.

Jim Brady was shot in the head during an assassination attempt of former President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. He suffered partial paralysis from brain damage along with memory impairment and slurred speech.

After the shooting, the couple became the voice of the gun-control movement in the United States.

"Sarah courageously stepped up after Jim was shot to prevent others from enduring what our family has gone through, and her work has saved countless lives," her family said in a statement. "We are enormously proud of Sarah's remarkable accomplishments and the impact she had on so many people -- whether as an elementary school teacher, advocate for a safer America, devoted mother, friend, wife and caregiver. Sarah fought the good fight her whole life."

A federal law that passed bearing the Brady name required background checks for firearms buyers in the United States.

"Sarah and Jim are responsible for the passage of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the ‘Brady Law') which has prevented more than 2.4 million sales of firearms to criminals and other dangerous people and remains, by far, the most significant achievement in the history of the gun violence prevention movement," said Brady Campaign and Center President Dan Gross in a statement. "Our nation has lost a great hero, and I have lost a dear friend. I am certain that she would want nothing more than to know we are carrying on her and Jim's legacy with the same fiery compassion and dedication that made her so remarkable."

Jim Brady died last August, also at the age of 73.

Sarah Brady is survived by her son, Scott, daughter-in-law, Andree, and stepdaughter, Missy.