San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies at age 65

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee died in the early hours of Tuesday morning. He's seen here with his wife, Anita Lee, at a NASA event earlier this month.; Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images
Bill Chappell | NPR San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee, known for embracing the "Sanctuary City" label and working to combat homelessness, has died at age 65. Lee was not known to be ill; he reportedly died at a San Francisco hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Member station KQED cites a statement from the mayor's office, saying he died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital:

Lee, the city's 43rd mayor, died at 1:11 a.m. as relatives, friends and colleagues were at his side, according to a statement from the mayor's office.

No cause of death was mentioned.

Edwin Lee entered city government after a career as a tenants rights lawyer, working to preserve low-cost housing in the 1980s and to tackle civil rights issues. He served as San Francisco's mayor after being appointed to the post in 2011, when he replaced the outgoing Gavin Newsom, who became lieutenant governor. At the time, Lee was a relatively unknown city administrator who said he thought he'd only be in the job for a year — despite getting unanimous support from San Francisco's Board of Supervisors.

Lee then won elections in 2011 and 2015. His term in office was to run through 2020.

When he was elected in the fall of 2011, Lee "made history by becoming the city's first elected Asian-American mayor," member station KQED noted .

With Lee's death, KQED reports , "London Breed, the president of the Board of Supervisors, becomes acting mayor, according to city charter."

Lee is survived by his wife, Anita, and his two daughters, Brianna and Tania. Brianna Lee is a producer for KPCC.
This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at

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