|John W. Hinckley, Jr.|
John W. Hinckley, Jr. The son of a wealthy oil company executive, Hinckley was born in 1955 in Ardmore, Oklahoma and raised near Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas. By college he had become an indifferent and reclusive student, dreaming of a musical career like his early idol John Lennon. Hinckley’s later obsession with Martin Scorsese’s film Taxi Driver drove him to a real-life stalking of the actress Jodie Foster. Desperate for her attention, he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan before an AFL-CIO event at the Washington Hilton Hotel in DC on March 30, 1981, frantically emptying all six shots from his revolver while being tackled by Secret Service agents. Reagan recovered from a dangerous gunshot wound a mere inch from his heart, but the attack permanently disabled press secretary Jim Brady, in whose name Congress enacted gun control legislation bearing the name the Brady Law. On the strength of a hotly contested insanity defense, Hinckley was committed to a Washington psychiatric hospital, where he remains to the present day.