San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dead at 65

Edwin M. Lee was the first Asian American mayor of San Francisco.

A pioneer in Asian American and San Francisco politics has died. San Francisco mayor Edwin M. Lee, the first Asian American to lead the city, died early Tuesday of an apparent heart attack. He was 65.

Ed Lee, San Francisco Mayor, Dies at 65

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the mayor was shopping at a neighborhood supermarket when he suffered a heart attack. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:11 am.

"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," his office said in a statement.

Before Lee became San Francisco's 43rd mayor, he was an activist and attorney who worked for the Asian Law Caucus, advocating for immigrant rights and affordable housing. He later joined city government, leading the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Public Works, among other agencies.

In 2011, the Board of Supervisors appointed Lee to serve as an interim mayor for the remainder of the term vacated by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was elected to serve as California's lieutenant governor.

He went on to seek election later that year, and was re-elected in 2015 to his final four-year term office, which would have concluded at the end of 2019.

Under the city's rules, London Breed, the president of the board of supervisors, became the acting mayor.

Rest in peace, Ed Lee. Thank you for your service.

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