He came to Princeton from Mount Kisco High School, where he participated in student government, publications, and was captain of the tennis team. At Princeton, he was in the Woodrow Wilson School, a member of Cannon Club and Whig-Clio, and managed the tennis team.
Passionate about theater and classical music, Lee co-founded the Aston Magna Music Festival, the country’s longest-running summer festival of early music performed on period instruments, now in its 50th year. He had a rare ability to seek and celebrate the good in others and never had an unkind word to say about anyone. While in college, he dined in Spain with Ernest Hemingway, who inspired him to endow the Lee M. Elman Class of 1958 Hemingway Prize at Princeton. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Bologna before earning two degrees from Yale Law School.
Lee was the cultural affairs commissioner for New York City under mayors Abe Beame and Ed Koch, and he was a member of the New York State Council on the Arts for 22 years.
He was an avid mountain climber, having been on Everest (reaching 22,500 feet), the Alps, the Rockies, Cascades, and in Argentina and Ecuador.
Lee is survived by his longtime companion Judy Ney and his daughter Alexandra Foley. The class extends its deepest sympathy to them.