A statement from his office noted that "it is with profound sadness and awful grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M Lee has passed away".
Lee presided over Silicon Valley's magnificent tech boom and was the first mayor of San Francisco with Chinese ancestry. He won election on November 8, 2011 and was re-elected in 2015.
He leaves behind his wife Anita and his two daughters, Brianna and Tania.
Lee died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday at 1:11 a.m, his office said in a statement released a few hours after his death.
Lee's ascension to Room 200 gave both Oakland and San Francisco Asian-American mayors at the same time.
Lee had done what no other Asian American had done before by becoming mayor of a major city'.
Jeff Chiu Associated Press
A man left flowers on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall after the mayor’s death
But to his detractors, the growth of companies like Salesforce, Uber, Airbnb and LinkedIn changed San Francisco's character and reputation as haven for bohemians, artists and immigrants.
Edwin Mah Lee was born May 5, 1952, in Seattle to Chinese immigrants who hailed from Toisan, a rural village in the southern province of Guangdong, China. This includes his city-centric sports view, which was always "What's good for the city is good by me".
- SF Sheriff's Dept. (@SheriffSF) December 12, 2017Oakland sends its condolences to Anita, her daughters, and all San Franciscans today.
Many political observers say Mayor Lee was concerned the rising rents in Chinatown would lead to gentrification.
Lee graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in ME in 1974 and went on to study law at the University of California, Berkeley.
She said the mayor strongly supported opening a new homeless center in the Mission District named the Navigation Center.
California officials are reacting to the sudden death of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. He worked as the executive director of the Human Rights Commission, became director of City Purchasing, and then in 2000 was appointed director of the Department of Public Works.
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