SAN FRANCISCO—The Armenian National Committee of American Francisco Bay Area Chapter is saddened to hear about the sudden passing of San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, which happened early Tuesday morning.
The 65-year-old Lee, who was the first Asian-American to lead San Francisco, suffered a heart attack on Monday while shopping at a Safeway supermarket.
“The ANCA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter and the Armenian-American community in San Francisco mourn the sudden passing of San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Mayor Lee was a strong supporter of the Armenian-American community. Our prayers are with the Mayor’s family during this incredibly difficult time,” said the ANCA San Francisco Bay Area chapter in a statement , which was posted on the organization’s Facebook page.
“The ANCA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter expressed its sincere condolences on the loss of Mayor Lee to Supervisor London Breed, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who has been sworn in as Acting Mayor of San Francisco,” added the statement.
In his time as Mayor, Mr. Lee was a supporter of the Armenian-American community. In 2011, he welcomed Armenian spiritual leader, His Holiness Aram I, to San Francisco City Hall, presenting him with a memento from the city. Mayor Lee attended the Armenian American community’s annual requiem honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide at Mt. Davidson Cross. In his remarks there on April 22, 2012, he stated, “this mayor and our community in San Francisco joins you in this very appropriate commemoration.”
In 2017, in his annual proclamation declaring April 24th Armenian Genocide Day of Remembrance in San Francisco, Mayor Lee stated, “By honoring the memory of those who perished in the Armenian Genocide, we ensure that tragic time in history is not forgotten and will continue to serve as a reminder of the atrocities that can result from bigotry and hatred.”
Mayor Lee was appointed Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco in January 2011 after the election of Gavin Newsom as Lieutenant Governor of California, to serve out the remainder of the mayoral term and was the first Asian-American mayor in San Francisco. He won the mayoral election in November, 2011 and won reelection in 2015. Prior to serving as mayor, Lee served as City Administrator, Director of Public Works, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and as an attorney for the Asian Law Caucus.