LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Hae Un Lee, the founder of Lee's Discount Liquor known as Mr. Lee, died Friday at age 79.

Lee had been battling pancreatic cancer since October 2020, the company said in a statement. He died in a local hospital on Aug. 27.

Lee immigrated to the United States from South Korea in 1981 and opened his first store the following year on Spring Mountain Road. Since then, Lee's has grown into the largest liquor retailer in Nevada with 22 stores.

"Mr. Lee was a prominent member of the community, and almost 20 years ago started Lee’s Helping Hand, a nonprofit organization that put millions of dollars back into organizations in need throughout Nevada," the company said.

Hae Un Lee

Hae Un Lee

Lee is survived by his wife, Sun Lee, three children, Annie, Kenny and Tina, and eight grandchildren. Information on Lee's services have not yet been announced.

"Kathy and I join friends, families and loved ones in mourning the loss of Hae Un Lee, the founder and CEO of [Lee's Discount Liquor]," Gov. Steve Sisolak tweeted on Saturday. "He was a great friend. This is a tremendous loss for our community - but Mr. Lee’s legacy will live on. We will keep his family close in our hearts."

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved


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(1) comment


RIP Mr. Lee. Your billboards were funny, but honestly, your liquor wasn't particularly discounted. Great marketing, though.

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