Edwin M. Lee, professionally known as Ed Lee who became the first Asian-American to be elected as the mayor of San Francisco, died at the age of 65. Ed Lee died early on Tuesday. The cause of his death has not been revealed yet.
His office confirmed his death news via a statement, “It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away on Tuesday, December 12 at 1:11 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Family, friends and colleagues were at his side.”
A spokesperson for the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, Brent Andrew said that an ambulance took Lee to the hospital around 10 p.m. on Monday. The Board of Supervisors appointed Lee as interim mayor in 2011.
Andrew didn’t speak about in what condition Lee arrived at the hospital. But, he said that that mayor arrived at the hospital in the ambulance along with his wife, who was there as his attendant.
State Sen. Scott Wiener told KTVU-TV, “I am floored. I can’t believe he’s gone. I just held a press conference with Mayor Lee yesterday … He was his normal friendly and jovial self.” Scott added, “He wasn’t the flashiest guy in the world, but he worked hard and it was an honor to work with him.”
During an interview with The New York Times in 2016, Lee said, he had been drawn to San Francisco for the state’s tolerance and diversity. He said, “California, particularly, San Francisco, has always been an opening, welcoming atmosphere. That’s kind of what drew me here.”
Lee continued, “Being born and raised in Seattle, I wanted to get away from the rain and of course sunny California was attractive. But the main attraction was a kind of feeling that freedom of expression and maybe a person of a different ethnic background could be welcomed and succeed.”