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Lee S. Dolson Jr., 77; San Francisco Supervisor, GOP Leader

June 01, 2002

Lee S. Dolson Jr., 77, a former San Francisco supervisor whose conservative politics made him an anomaly in the Bay Area bastion of liberalism, died Sunday in San Francisco after a lengthy illness.

Dolson was one of the Republican Party's most successful politicians in the city. He served two terms on its Board of Supervisors in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He also won a seat on the city's Board of Education and served two terms on the civil grand jury.

He once noted that state and national Republicans "have pretty well written off this town" and devoted much of his time to proving them wrong by rebuilding the city's Republican Party and serving as vice chairman of the party's central committee.

He lost his bid for a third term as supervisor by 100 votes in 1982 and was unsuccessful in a comeback attempt in 1988.

A San Francisco native, Dolson was a 1944 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, became an ensign and served as commanding officer of a minesweeper and as an aide to Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. He was a lieutenant commander posted to combat duty with the Marines during the Korean War and was awarded 12 decorations.

After leaving the military, he earned master's degrees from San Francisco State and UC Berkeley, as well as a doctorate in history, and became an assistant professor at those schools. He also taught social science at City College of San Francisco.

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