San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies suddenly at age 65

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies suddenly at age 65

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined other California elected officials Tuesday in mourning the sudden passing of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who died at a San Francisco hospital early Tuesday after suffering a heart attack while shopping at a supermarket late Monday night. He was 65 years old.

"It is with profound sadness and awful grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away", the statement said. "No matter the job he held, he was fair and collaborative".

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) released a statement Tuesday: "On behalf of all Californians, Anne and I extend our deepest condolences to Mayor Lee's family, his many friends and the entire City of San Francisco".

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Board of Supervisors President London Breed has taken over duties as Acting Mayor.

Lee inherited a town still recovering from the Great Recession.

Lee became the city's mayor in 2011, when he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill the mayoral seat vacated by Gavin Newsom, who went on to be come lieutenant governor. San Francisco, under Lee, has been a leader among American cities in the Sanctuary City movement.

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But San Francisco assemblyman and former supervisor David Chiu disagrees. To them it was the final straw for middle-income people struggling to find housing they could afford in San Francisco. Mayor Lee was an advocate for the needy, and it hearkened back to his days as a housing-rights activist back in the '70s and '80s. But he reversed that promise, claiming he was persuaded by a "Run Ed, Run" campaign manufactured by his backers.

Anni Chung, executive director of Self-Help for the Elderly in Chinatown, was among those paying tribute to Lee at City Hall.

"The impact of that loss - I don't think any words could describe our feelings right now, " Chung said. Lee, who rose to national fame for being the first Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, was a close ally of the tech community.

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Just last week he lamented to friend and San Francsico State University political science teacher David Lee that there were not enough younger Asian Americans entering San Francisco politics.

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