Bob Lee, a technology executive who founded the mobile payment company Cash App and previously worked at Square, died Tuesday after he was stabbed near downtown San Francisco, according to his family.
The San Francisco Police Department said officers responded to a report of a stabbing around 2:35 a.m. Tuesday. The officers found a 43-year-old man with apparent stab wounds. The man was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died, police said.
Authorities did not name the man, but Lee’s father and brother identified him as the victim.
“Bobby worked harder than anyone and was the smartest person I have ever known. He will be missed by all those that knew him,” Richard Lee said in the post, which was accompanied by a news article about his son’s stabbing. “Thank you to those who have reached out in support.”
The two men had been living in Miami since October after moving there from California, his father said in the post. They had grown especially close after Bob Lee’s mother died in 2019. NBC News could not immediately confirm why the executive was back in the Bay Area.
“I’m so saddened and disheartened to lose my brother,” Tim Oliver Lee wrote on Facebook. “He really was the best of us. I was so fortunate to grow up with him, and I feel like I’ve lost part of myself.”
Bob Lee had been working as the chief product officer of the cryptocurrency company MobileCoin. He previously served as chief technology officer of Square (now known as Block), a financial technology start-up co-founded by the former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey.
Lee went on to create Cash App, a money transfer service.
He was also an investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture as well as other tech firms, such as the social audio app Clubhouse, according to his LinkedIn profile. He used the handle “crazybob” for his LinkedIn and Twitter pages.
In a statement Wednesday, the founder and chief executive of MobileCoin said that Lee “passed away yesterday” and praised his business acumen. He did not specify Lee’s cause of death.
“Bob was a dynamo, a force of nature. Bob was the genuine article,” Joshua Goldbard said. “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.”
In a Twitter thread, Goldbard said Lee was “like a brother to me” and praised the technology executive as a “brilliant” visionary with a “kaleidoscopic” mind.
No arrests appeared to have been made as of early Wednesday. Police declined to release more information about the crime when contacted by NBC News because the homicide is an active investigation, referring questions about the victim’s identity to the city medical examiner.
When contacted by NBC News, the medical examiner’s office said it had “no information to disclose or further comment at this time.”
The fatal stabbing could intensify scrutiny on public safety issues in San Francisco, where residents and business owners have grown increasingly concerned about violent crimes and thefts. Mayor London Breed has pledged to crack down on crime.
San Francisco has seen 12 homicides since the beginning of the year, according to data compiled by the city’s police department. In the same period last year, the city saw 10 homicides.
Lee’s friends and colleagues paid tribute to him on social media. The former MMA fighter Jake Shields remembered the tech executive as a “loyal friend.” In a response to one of Shields’ tweets, Musk said he was “very sorry” to learn of Lee’s death.
Dorsey, the former chief executive of Twitter, called Lee’s death “heartbreaking” on the social media platform Nostr. “Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App,” Dorsey wrote.
Joshua Bloch, a friend who worked with Lee at Google in the late 2000s, remembered him as a magnetic person who “always had a huge smile on his face” and “constantly lived life to the fullest.”
In a phone interview Wednesday, Bloch recalled that Lee was a tech “autodidact” who could seemingly “do anything he wanted … I don’t think he realized how special he was.”
“People always say nice things about the dead,” Bloch added, “but in this case, I would say the exact same things if he were still alive. He was remarkable.”