A political case of penetrating cranial trauma: The injury of james scott brady

Richard Menger, Piyush Kalakoti, Rimal Hanif, Osama Ahmed, Anil Nanda, Bharat Guthikonda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


James Brady, the White House press secretary during President Ronald Reagan’s first term in office, was 1 of 4 people (including the President) wounded during an attempted assassination attempt on President Reagan’s life on March 30, 1981. John Hinckley, Jr. was found not guilty of this attempt by reason of insanity. The assassination attempt was a ploy by Hinckley, Jr. to impress the actress Jodie Foster. Brady was the most seriously injured of the 4 who were wounded. He suffered a gunshot wound to the left forehead that traveled through the left frontal lobe, corpus callosum, and then into the right frontal and temporal lobes. He initially required a bifrontal craniotomy for evacuation of a right frontotemporal intraparenchymal hemorrhage and debridement of tract. His postoperative course was complicated by seizures, cerebrospinal fluid leakage (necessitating multiple reparative procedures), aspiration pneumonia, and pulmonary emboli. Despite the severity of his injury and perioperative morbidities, Mr. Brady made good recovery. Although permanently left with residual weakness on the left side of his body, making a wheelchair necessary, Brady maintained cognitive and personality traits that were very close to his preinjury baseline. As a result, James Brady and his wife, Sarah, led a call to create legislative reform subsequently known as the “Brady Bill.” This bill controversially made mandatory background checks for the purchase of firearms from licensed dealers. Our work aims to describe the assassination attempt, the neurosurgical injury and management of Mr. Brady’s case, and the brief historical sequel that followed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalClinical neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Brady handgun violence prevention bill
  • Cranial trauma
  • Gunshot wound
  • Handgun safety
  • James brady
  • John hinckley
  • Jr
  • Ronald reagan


Dive into the research topics of 'A political case of penetrating cranial trauma: The injury of james scott brady'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this