Clarence Lee, an American of Chinese descent, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He worked as a designer in New York before returning to Hawaii in 1966 to open his own design firm. Lee is the Honorary Advisor (also the founder) of Clarence Lee Design & Associates - a graphic design firm with over 40 years of experience. Over the years, Lee has been a recipient of many prestigious awards and was honored as a Hawaii Living Treasure by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai'i in 2001.
Besides the Happy New Year stamp series, Lee also designed the first America's first joint-issue stamp with China in 1994 - a two-stamp set featured a black-necked crane and a whooping crane. In 2008, Lee designed the Olympic Games commemorative stamp that features a drawing by artist Katie Doka of a gymnast surrounded by ribbon-like design elements.
Lee, now in his 70s, was born in the Year of the Dog.