Edwin Mah Lee was born May 5, 1952, in Seattle to Chinese immigrants who hailed from Toisan, a rural village in the southern province of Guangdong, China.
"It is with profound sadness and bad grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away on Tuesday", his office said. 'Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family'. Lee, who rose to national fame for being the first Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, was a close ally of the tech community. "Family, friends and colleagues were at his side", the mayor's office said in a statement.
Lee was also a founding member of "Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination", a bipartisan group of leaders dedicated to fighting anti-LGBT laws.
Residents of San Francisco will remember him for his role in increasing the minimum wage, reducing the homeless population, and cementing the city's status as a sanctuary city.
Lee's ascension to Room 200 gave both Oakland and San Francisco Asian-American mayors at the same time.
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But to his detractors, the growth of companies like Salesforce, Uber, Airbnb and LinkedIn changed San Francisco's character and reputation as haven for bohemians, artists and immigrants.
"Ed was an excellent mayor of a great but sometimes challenging city", Feinstein said.
His replacement for the moment, acting mayor London Breed, will likely not have as visible a presence on the sporting landscape, as the Warriors arena project is already well underway and the Giants are safely ensconced at Third and King. His mother worked as a seamstress; his father, a cook, died when he was 15, and Lee was the first in his family to attend college.
Lee graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in ME in 1974 and went on to study law at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the human rights director. In 2005, Mayor Gavin Newsom named him city administrator, a post he held until his appointment as mayor in 2011. Doesn't matter if it is Chinese or African American or Hispanic.
Brown said Lee's election showed non-politicians could win elective office. "Bad puns here and there".