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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies in office at 65

By Doug G. Ware
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies in office at 65
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee walks in the World Series championship parade on October 31, 2014. Lee died suddenly early Tuesday morning at the age of 65, his office said. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- San Francisco Mayor Ed M. Lee died suddenly Tuesday morning after six years of leading one of the largest cities in the United States, his office said. He was 65.

Lee died at San Francisco General Hospital just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

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"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," Lee's office said in a statement. "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."

No cause of death was initially given.

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"A tireless fighter for San Francisco, and our values, we accomplished many firsts under his leadership. Flags are at half staff today. We mourn the loss," the City of San Francisco said Tuesday.

A Democrat, Lee was appointed to lead San Francisco City Hall in January 2011 to succeed Gavin Newsom, who became California's lieutenant governor. Ten months later, he won his bid to remain in office. Lee was re-elected in 2015 and was set to serve until at least 2020. He was San Francisco's first Asian American mayor.

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"Absolutely heartbroken by Mayor Lee's passing," Newsom said. "SF has lost a selfless leader and dedicated public servant whose intellect, integrity, boundless optimism & contagious love elevated our City."

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For six years prior to assuming the mayor's office, Lee was city administrator for San Francisco, which ranks as the 13th largest city in the United States.

Board of Supervisors President London Breed has taken over as acting mayor, Lee's office said.

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