Lee was born in Philadelphia in 1950 to Chinese immigrant parents who arrived in the United States in 1948. Lee received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1972, an M.B.A. with Distinction fromCornell University in 1976, and a J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Cornell Law School in 1976.
Lee is married to Leslie Lee. He has three children (Christopher, Catherine, and Margaret) and four grandchildren.