The San Francisco Chronicle has confirmed the sad news tweeted by BeyondChron: Ted Gullicksen, the longtime director of the San Francisco Tenants Union has died at the age of 61.

Gullicksen headed up the SFTU since 1988, and had fought tirelessly to protect San Francisco tenants from unscrupulous landlords, unfair evictions, and legislative loopholes that endangered renters' rights. (A call made to the SFTU by SFist was not returned at publication time.)

Most recently, Gullicksen fought for legislation regulating Airbnb, and had been stumping for Proposition G, legislation intended to curb real-estate speculation in San Francisco.

According to a statement sent by Mayor Ed Lee's office, Gullicksen's passing "is a loss for our City. Ted dedicated his life to the fight for the rights of tenants and for affordable housing in San Francisco, and his advocacy over the decades helped to put in place some of the strongest tenant protections in the country."

Together, Lee says, Gullicksen and his office "formed a coalition of tenants, labor and business leaders to fight for housing and working families and longtime tenants against eviction by real estate speculators. I am grateful for Ted’s help and leadership in pushing for reforms to the Ellis Act at the State level and his lifelong commitment to our residents."

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi also released a statement, saying that “Ted Gullicksen loved San Francisco, and he made it possible for thousands of other residents to remain in the city they loved."

"At this time of record income inequality," Adachi said, "Ted was fighting fiercely for fairness and affordability."

A friend of Gullicksen's tells the Chron that he was found dead in his bed some time today. He had no health problems that his friends were aware of, and his cause of death is unknown at this time.