VIDEO: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies at 65

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 08: San Francisco mayor Ed Lee smiles as he campaigns in Chinatown on November 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Candidates for San Francisco mayor are making one last push to encourage people to vote as San Franciscans head to the polls to vote for a new mayor, district attorney and sheriff. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee passed away from a heart attack early Tuesday morning at the age of 65, according to city officials.

He collapsed while shopping in a Safeway in the Ingleside neighborhood, sources tell KRON4’s Will Tran.

At 1:11 a.m. Lee died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues.

He leaves behind his wife Anita and his two daughters, Brianna and Tania.

The 43rd Mayor of San Francisco, Lee was also the city’s first Asian-American mayor.

Here is an official statement from the Mayor’s Office of Communications:

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.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anita, his two daughters, Brianna and Tania, and his family.

In accordance with the City Charter, Board of Supervisors President London Breed became Acting Mayor of San Francisco, effectively immediately.”

The San Francisco Giants remembered him as “a true San Franciscan who devoted his life to serving our great city and to supporting those most in need.”

The team also said, “he was the Giants’ number one fan.”

49ers owner Jed York released a statement after learning of Mayor Lee’s death.

“Ed was a friend that we came to admire deeply for his compassion for others and his tireless work to effect positive change in both his city and throughout society,” York said.

Will Tran spoke with former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown. Brown says “We lost our leader.”

California senators, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, as well as the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department are responding to the shocking news of Lee’s sudden death.

A native of Seattle, Washington, Mayor Lee graduated from Bowdoin College in 1974, and from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978.

Lee was appointed mayor by the Board of Supervisors in 2011, replacing Gavin Newsom, who was elected the state’s lieutenant governor. Lee went on to win a four-year term in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015.

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. 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.

The case became a flashpoint in the nation’s immigration debate, with then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referencing it as an example of the need for stricter immigration policies and a wall along the Mexican border.

Lee was an advocate for the poor but detractors claimed he catered too much to Silicon Valley, citing his brokering of a tax break in 2011 to benefit Twitter as part of a remake of the city’s downtown. Housing prices have surged in San Francisco with modest homes now topping $1.5 million, and Lee faced criticism for not doing more to provide affordable housing for the working class.

London Breed is now the Active Mayor of San Francisco following the unexpected passing of Mayor Ed Lee.



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