Sussex County, Delaware Mourns Death of Jim Brady - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County, Delaware Mourns Death of Jim Brady


DEWEY BEACH, Del. - The death of James Brady, the witty press secretary who survived a devastating head wound in a 1981 assassination attempt, has the entire nation mourning, including in the Rehoboth-Dewey Beach area, where he spent multiple decades with his family. The 73-year old was one of the main leaders in the fight for gun control, along with his wife, Sarah. 

"We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Jim 'Bear' Brady has passed away after a series of health issues," said Brady's family in a statement. "His wife, Sarah, son Scott, and daughter, Missy are so thankful to have had the opportunity to say their farewells."

Bob Frederick, the former mayor of Dewey Beach, was very close with the family, during the time that Brady lived along Silver Lake in the Dewey Beach area.

"When I first got the phone call it was very emotional," Frederick said. "In fact I cried. I've known Jim and Sarah for over 20 years." 

Frederick said Brady played an important role locally in helping Frederick to run the town.  

"He was such a great guy," he said. "I mean he guided me as mayor. How often as a small-town mayor do you get a presidential press secretary to come to your town to help you."

He said most valuable was Brady's dedication and character. 

"As a departed person, first of all he was a jokester," Frederick said. "Quick-witted and funny as anything. And just always willing to help."

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell also reflected Monday on the loss of life. He said that Brady was a man that he "knew and admired for years." 

"This is a difficult loss," he said. "But those close to him can take solace in knowing the legacy he built through his advocacy work will have a lasting impact on our country and will surely inspire future generations." 

Markell explained in a statement that he first met Brady in 1979 when he shared an office with him as an intern to Sen. William Roth in Washington, DC. 

"Jim was a wonderful person with a great sense of humor," he said. "Later in life, I was honored to reconnect with Jim as he and Sarah made their home in Sussex County for many years. Jim's grit and determination were always evident."

Delaware Senators shared much of the same sentiment. Sen. Chris Coons said Brady was a man who "turned tragedy into the foundation for a lifetime of positive public service. 

"With Jim Brady's passing, America has lost on of the most effective voices for a balanced policy on handguns and gun violence," he said. "I want to express my condolences to Sarah Brady and all their friends and family."

Sen. Tom Carper made similar statements. 

"We lost a good man today," he said in a statement. "I was fortunate to get to know Jim and Sarah even before they made their home in Rehoboth for many years."

President Bill Clinton awarded Brady with the Presidential medal of Freedom in 1996. In 2000, the press briefing room at the White House was renamed in his honor. 

Brady never regained full health. The shooting caused brain damage, partial paralysis, short-term memory impairment, slurred speech and constant pain. He died at a retirement community in Alexandria, Virginia. Survivors include his wife, son, Scott, and daughter Melissa.

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