Lee was elected mayor in 2011.
San Francisco’s first Asian American mayor Ed Lee has died at age 65.
The LA Times reports that Lee’s death was announced by the city in a statement but no cause of death was given.
“It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 1:11 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital,” the statement said.
“Family, friends and colleagues were at his side. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family.”
Lee made history in 2011 by being elected mayor and the first Asian American to do so. As mayor, Lee saw San Francisco’s tech boom develop from its infancy.
New high-rise buildings began sprouting around the city and unemployment plummeted.
However, many residents were burdened by the rapid growth of the city and criticsed Lee for allowing rent and property prices to soar.
Nonetheless, Lee won reelection in 2015, with voteres approving a $310-million affordable housing bond he championed.
Lee trained as a lawyer and joined the San Francisco Law Caucus, organising a rent strike with Chinatown residents in 1978 after a zoung woman was raped and killed there.
Consequently Lee’s electorial success was a milestone for San Francisco’s Chinese American population who suffered from discrimination by local residents and city government.
Lee will be succeeded by the chairman of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.