Ronald Reagan


What assassination attempt did Reagan survive?

On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. shot President Reagan at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan—who had been in office only a short time—suffered an injured arm and a punctured lung, but survived the attack. Hinckley shot White House Press Secretary James Brady in the head, leaving him disabled. He also shot Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and District of Columbia Metropolitan police officer Tom Delahanty.

Hinckley, who came from a wealthy family, acted irrationally out of an obsession for actress Jodie Foster, who had starred in the film Taxi Driver as a child prostitute. Hinckley identified with the protagonist in the movie, Travis Bickle, who tries to assassinate a United States senator; Bickle is convinced that violence is the answer to the social ills he feels have caused the downfall of Foster’s character. A jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity and he remains confined in a mental hospital to this day.


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