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Mayor Hancock, first lady announce their separation

The Denver mayor and his wife released a statement Friday saying they decided to begin the "dissolution of our union."

DENVER — Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and first lady Mary Louise Lee released a statement on Friday announcing their separation and that they have begun the dissolution of their marriage.

"After almost 28 years of marriage, we have mutually decided to legally separate and to begin the dissolution of our union," says the statement released by the mayor's office. "We will always love and support each other; however, we have determined that we have simply grown apart and desire different goals in life. We shared many wonderful moments during our time together, and cherish the blessings of our children, and now our first grandchild.

"We request that you please respect our privacy as we make this challenging transition in our lives. No further public statements will be made on this matter."

> Video above: Mary Louise Lee writes a letter to her younger self, published May 26, 2017

According to the first lady's biography on the City of Denver website, Michael Hancock and Mary Louise Lee have two children. Mary Louise Lee founded and ran the Bringing Back the Arts Foundation to restore art programs in Denver public schools and to expand residents' access to the city's cultural institutions.

RELATED: Mary Louise Lee: Letter to my 18-year-old self

RELATED: Mary Louise Lee, city's first lady, on the toll the campaign takes on family life

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