San Francisco mayor Ed Lee is seen in 2014. He died at 65 on Dec. 12 2017
13 December, 2017, 06:37
Under Mayor Ed Lee's seven-year watch, San Francisco went from a city mired in recession to a technology-fueled economic powerhouse where housing costs skyrocketed and the chasm between the wealthy and everyone else grew.
When he was elected in the fall of 2011, Lee "made history by becoming the city's first elected Asian-American mayor", KQED noted.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's final interview with ABC7 NewsThe mayor's office issued a statement this morning with the sad news: "It is with profound sadness and bad 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. While I grieve today with Mayor Lee's loved ones and all San Franciscans, I will always be grateful for the honor of calling him a brother, friend, and colleague".
"Ed was an excellent mayor of a great but sometimes challenging city", wrote US Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, herself a former mayor of San Francisco.
His rise to mayor in 2011 marked a historic step for the large Chinese-American community in famously liberal San Francisco. Here's what we've seen so far; we'll update as more come in. No cause was given for his death but an autopsy was planned. He was appointed mayor of San Francisco in January 2011 when former Mayor Gavin Newsom left to become California's Lietuenant Governor.
Lee, who was married and had two daughters, was a civil rights lawyer who became the San Francisco city administrator before taking over as mayor.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee speaks during a news conference after attending New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's mayors summit on immigration reform on December 8, 2014, in Manhattan. He was a staunch supporter of San Francisco's sanctuary city policy toward immigrants, a stance he reiterated last month when a Mexican man who had been repeatedly deported was acquitted of murder in the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle.
Lee graduated from Bowdoin College in 1974 and from the University of California, Berkeley law school in 1978.
A spokeswoman for Safeway stores, Wendy Gutshall, declined to confirm the report but said the store's employees "will miss seeing him in the neighborhood". "He was his normal friendly and jovial self", state Sen. Feinstein is now California's senior US senator.
Breed, also a Democrat, was also expected to seek the office.
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