HOUSTON (FOX26) - Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee died of a heart attack Sunday morning. He is survived by his wife and 2 children.
Mayor Turner's statement on the passing of Commissioner Lee:
My heart is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee. I first met El Franco more than three decades ago when he was serving in the State Legislature. In 1984, we ran against each other for Harris County Commissioner and he beat me.
El Franco was a beloved public servant who never sought the limelight, preferring a low key approach that put the needs of his constituents above self-promotion. His passion was helping seniors and improving quality of life for underserved youth and young adults in the inner city. His unmatched programs for thousands of seniors include everything from health and fitness initiatives to arts and crafts and music tutorials to holiday celebrations and other special events. El Franco’s dedication to improving social services, health care, educational and vocational needs for Harris County youth is exemplified by his wonderful Street Olympics Program. He grew the Street Olympics from a summer-only recreation activity into a comprehensive event that impacted the lives of more than 10,000 young adults every year.
El Franco served Harris County well for 30 years and will be greatly missed. On behalf of the City of Houston, I send condolences and prayers to his family. I have directed that flags at City of Houston facilities be lowered to half-staff.
Information About Commissoner Lee from the Harris County website:
Commissioner El Franco Lee, was a native Houstonian, reared in Houston’s Kashmere Gardens Addition and a graduate of Phillis Wheatley Senior High School. Commissioner Lee continued his education at Texas Southern University (TSU), where he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Technology; completed related course work and postgraduate studies at the TSU School of Public Affairs, and at the University of Houston.
Commissioner Lee began his political career in 1979 when he was elected Texas State Representative for District 142 where he served for five years. In 1985, Commissioner Lee was elected and sworn in as the first African American Harris County Commissioner, where he is currently serving his seventh term in office.
Not only has Commissioner Lee served the community well, he has also worked extensively on a number of substantive local, state and national committees and boards.
Aside from his official county duties, Commissioner Lee has been active in a number of community outreach programs. He has worked with the Urban Outreach Program, and the Northeast and Metro branches of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He has also helped to raise funds for a number of charitable organizations, including the American Diabetes and March of Dimes Associations, and the Live Oak Fund.