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Tech titan associated with Android, Cash App stabbed to death in San Francisco

Screenshot of KPIX-TV YouTube video (Featured: Bob Lee)

An influential member of the tech industry has died after a horrific stabbing in San Francisco, California.

Around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, San Francisco police responded to a call about an attack on Main Street in SoMa, an entertainment and financial district on the city's east side. When officers arrived, they found a man "suffering from apparent stab wounds." The man was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

The victim was later identified as tech titan Bob Lee, known on social media as Crazy Bob. He was just 43 years old. According to SFPD, no suspect has been arrested in the case, which remains under investigation.

During his relatively short life, Lee was closely associated with some of the biggest names in Big Tech. He first established himself at Google, where he helped develop a core library at Android. Lee then began working with Square, now known as Block, a mobile digital payment device. In 2013, when he was in his early 30s, Lee founded Cash App, another virtual payment application associated with Block. In 2021, Cash App reported a gross profit of $1.8 billion.

Josh Goldbard, the CEO of MobileCoin, where Lee had been working when he died, issued a statement about his death. "Bob was a dynamo, a force of nature. Bob was the genuine article. He was made for the world that is being born right now, he was a child of dreams, and whatever he imagined, no matter how crazy, he made real," the statement read in part.

Others inside and outside the tech community expressed their grief about Lee's unfortunate passing.

"Heartbreaking," said former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App."

"So sad to hear of @crazybob’s untimely passing. I first met him in summer 2006 — he didn’t care that I was only 14 and we talked tech / geeked out about programming..." wrote Figma CEO Dylan Field. "It’s so hard to believe he is gone."

Others, including Twitter's new CEO, Elon Musk, have pointed to local soft-on-crime policies as an underlying cause of Lee's early, violent death.

"Very sorry to hear [about Lee,]" Musk tweeted. "Many people I know have been severely assaulted. Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately. Is the city taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat violent offenders @BrookeJenkinsSF?"

"He was in the ‘good’ part of the city and appeared to have been targeted in a random mugging/attack," wrote UFC/MMA fighter Jake Shields, Lee's friend.

"I don’t know how to fix what’s wrong, but I know something isn’t working in our grey city," Goldbard of MobileCoin continued. "Bob left this world too soon."

Lee is survived by at least two daughters. It is unclear whether he was married.

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