Edwin M. Lee, the first Asian-American mayor of San Francisco, died suddenly early Tuesday morning. He was 65.
The city’s 43rd mayor, Lee died at 1:11 a.m. surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues, according to a statement from the mayor’s office. The cause of death was not immediately released.
At a Tuesday news conference, Dr. Susan Ehrlich, CEO of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, said Lee arrived by ambulance shortly after 10 p.m. on Monday in critical condition. Staff attempted life-saving measures on him for several hours before he died, she said.
Ehrlich said Lee’s family — which includes his wife, Anita, and two daughters, Brianna and Tania — had asked that no further medical information be shared at this time.
The Rev. Norman Fong, executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC), told NBC News he was among those gathered at the hospital. Fong said he led a closing prayer for the mayor, whom he knew since the late ’70s.
“He had some rough challenges, because working with a city like San Francisco is not easy,” Fong said. “But he worked hard all the time. It’s a huge loss for not just the Chinese community but all of San Francisco — because he got some stuff done.”
Condolences poured in for Lee, who was appointed mayor in January 2011 to finish the term of Gavin Newsom, who resigned to become California’s lieutenant governor. He was elected in November 2011 and again in 2015.