Gregory Yee, a breaking news reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has died. He was 33.
According to The Times, Yee’s family attributed his unexpected death to complications from a respiratory issue. He died at his Hollywood residence Wednesday.
Yee, whose coverage included heat waves, wildfires, gun violence in Oakland and controversy around robotic police dogs, joined The Times in Summer 2021 as a night reporter on the Metro staff. He had been working as one of 18 staffers on the Fast Break desk, the paper’s unit responsible for breaking news.
Before The Times, Yee worked a short stint at a New Mexico newspaper. He then covered crime for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and criminal justice for the Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, where he contributed to coverage of the Rock Hill mass shooting involving former NFL player Phillip Adams.
Times sportswriter Sam Farmer, who was also in South Carolina for coverage, reached out to Yee, who expressed his goal to work for The Times. He was hired during the COVID pandemic.
“We did a nationwide search and he was far and away the best candidate we could get,” said B.J. Terhune, an assistant managing editor who oversaw his work. “He was truly passionate about breaking news. That really stood out when we were interviewing him.”
Yee also followed the pursuit of famed L.A. mountain lion P-22, as well as the effort to save the Glendale Hyperion-Viaduct lampposts from thieves.
Born and raised in the L.A. area, Yee attended UC Irvine, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. He graduated college in 2012 with a double major in Spanish and literary journalism.
“He brought nerve, will, discipline and high ambition to every project he tackled,” Barry Siegel, who runs the school’s Literary Journalism program, told The Times. “It was clear to me that Greg would go on to achieve much in the field of journalism, carving out a very special career.”
Yee is survived by his father Andrew, a retired pulmonologist, and his mother Mirta, a retired nurse, as well as his two sisters Halina and Emma Yee.