Lee was born on27 November 1940 at the Chinese Hospital in Chinatown, San Francisco.
His father, Lee Hoi - Chuen was fully Chinese and his mother Grace Ho way half Caucasian Lee was the fourth child of five children Agnes, Phoebe, Peter, and Robert . Lee and parents returned to Hong Kong when he was three months old. Lee s cantonese birth name was Lee Jun - Fan . the name homophoscally means return again it was given Lee by his mother, who felt he would return to United States once he came of age . Because of his mother s supersititious nature, she originally named him Sai-Fon .which is a fermnine meaning small phoenix.