The Washington Post

Here’s what the Washington Post’s frontpage looked like the day after Ronald Reagan and James Brady were shot

James Brady, press secretary of President Ronald Reagan, has died at the age of 73. Here is the Washington Post's obituary of the press secretary.

On March 30, 1981, Brady was shot during an assassination attempt against President Reagan.

The Post's coverage unsurprisingly devoted the most inches to the wounded president, but Brady, "the most gravely injured person," was discussed, and reports of his death were proved false.

Brady, who was five feet from the president and no further from the assailant, was the most gravely injured person. O'Leary said the assassin's bullet had passed through Brady's brain, leaving him in critical condition. Television networks reported incorrectly in late afternoon that Brady had died, but hospital officials said last evening the 40-year-old press secretary was in surgery and "fighting for his life." ... Later in the afternoon, all three television networks reported Brady's death -- only to have that report contradicted by Brady's deputy, Larry Speakes.

The White House briefing room, where Brady once sparred with many a journalist, now bears his name. Many reporters learned of the news while sitting in it.

Here is a video of President Bill Clinton announcing the briefing room's new name in 2000.

When Brady returned home to Centralia, Illinois in 1983, where he had not been since being appointed press secretary, his town excitedly greeted the boy they had almost lost only two years earlier. A banner read, ''Welcome Home Jim Brady," and his 76-year-old mom made him vegetable soup, according to the New York Times.

''Jimmy asked for vegetable soup,'' Mrs. Brady said, as she tried to remain calm amid the excitement of her son's homecoming.

''I'm too excited to even tell you about it,'' she said.

Related: Notable deaths of 2014

Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.



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