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Founder of Las Vegas staple Lee’s Discount Liquor, Mr. Lee, dies at 79

Mr. Lee death_SOURCE Lee’s Discount Liquor.JPG
Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-28 21:43:14-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The founder of a prominent liquor chain in the Las Vegas area has died.

Hae Un Lee, better known as Mr. Lee, passed away at an area hospital on Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to Lee’s Discount Liquor. He was diagnosed in October of last year.

A staple in the community, Lee's Discount Liquor is partly known for its instantly recognizable billboards across the valley.

Mr. Lee opened what would become the largest liquor retailer in Nevada on Spring Mountain Road in 1981, one year after immigrating to the United States from South Korea in 1980.

Today, the company says there are 22 stores in Las Vegas, Reno, West Wendover and Mesquite.

Almost 20 years ago he started Lee’s Helping Hand, a nonprofit organization that put millions of dollars back into organizations in need throughout Nevada.

Mr. Lee and his wife, Sun Lee, whom he immigrated to the United States with, had three children, Annie, Kenny and Tina, and have eight grandchildren