Mayor Edwin Mah Lee, the 43rd mayor of San Francisco, died early this morning at San Francisco General Hospital after suffering a heart attack. Lee, 65, is survived by his wife, Anita, and his daughters, Tania and Brianna.
Lee was shopping at a Safeway near his Glen Park home last night around 10:30pm when he experienced cardiac arrest, according to ABC7. After being transported to SFGH for treatment, he passed away at 1:11am in the presence of "family, friends and colleagues," according to a statement from the mayor's office.
As flags over City Hall flew at half mast this morning, politicians issued statements expressing shock and grief.
Holding onto the happy memories, Mr. Mayor. Sending all my love to his beloved Anita and daughters. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/04hFTL4MoV— Katy Tang (@SupervisorTang) December 12, 2017
“My heart breaks for (Lee’s wife) Anita and the mayor’s daughters," said District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen. "The entire city family is grieving right now."
"I was with him just yesterday and he was his normal jovial joking self," said State Senator Scott Weiner.
"Mayor Ed Lee cared deeply about our city, the safety of its people and the well-being of the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. "Our city has lost a great leader and we are shocked and saddened by his passing."
District Attorney George Gascón described Lee's passing as "an unspeakable loss for San Franciscans, but the unimaginable grief that has settled on the Lee household as the holidays near is heartbreaking."
Via Twitter, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim said Lee was "a truly decent human being who loved a good joke, he stepped up to lead. He will be greatly missed."
Absolutely heartbroken by Mayor Lee's passing. SF has lost a selfless leader and dedicated public servant whose intellect, integrity, boundless optimism & contagious love elevated our City. Jen and I mourn the loss of a dear friend. Our prayers are with Anita, Brianna and Tania. pic.twitter.com/sNagX55s7F— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 12, 2017
Lee became the city's first Asian-American mayor in January 2011 when he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to fill the remainder of Gavin Newsom's term after he was elected lieutenant governor.
After rejecting calls to run for a full term, he was elected mayor in November 2011 and reelected four years later.
Effective immediately, London Breed, president of the Board of Supervisors, is the city's Acting Mayor.
The remaining 10 supervisors may appoint a new mayor to serve the remainder of Lee's term; the next scheduled mayoral election is in November 2019. If the board doesn't select a new mayor, a special election will be called for June 2018.