The cause of the shocking Sept. 15 death of the Cars’ legendary Ric Ocasek has been revealed. According to an autopsy report released Monday by the New York City medical examiner’s office, Ocasek died of cardiovascular disease. Ocasek was 75.
The specific cause of death was listed as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, or atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque in the arteries that can cause hardening and/or narrowing in the heart muscle. Pulmonary emphysema was also a contributing factor.
The autopsy findings coincide with two touching social media posts by the Ocasek family that have provided deeper insight in the singer-songwriter’s final hours. The first post, by Ocasek’s wife Paulina Porizkova (from whom he amicably separated in 2018) says the new wave pioneer died in his sleep after undergoing surgery.
“Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery. Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together,” Porizkova wrote. “I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee. I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on. We appreciate the great outpouring of love. We, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private.”
From Ric’s sons: Our dad was a prolific doodler. His passing was sudden, unexpected, and beyond heartbreaking. Yesterday, we found this last doodle on his armchair. He couldn’t have known what it would end up meaning to us. We love him so much. pic.twitter.com/bJNpXSQgDO— The Cars (@thecarsband) September 16, 2019
Jonathan and Oliver also tweeted, via the Cars’ official account, the final drawing by their father, a gifted mixed-media artist who regularly showcased his drawings, photo collages, and paintings. “Our dad was a prolific doodler. His passing was sudden, unexpected, and beyond heartbreaking. Yesterday, we found this last doodle on his armchair. He couldn’t have known what it would end up meaning to us. We love him so much.” Ocasek’s charming pen-and-paper sketch reads, “Keep on laughin’. It is what it is.”
Additionally, Porizkova took to Instagram to thank the fans who have left flowers and vigil candles outside Ocasek’s Manhattan townhouse.
Ocasek is survived by his six sons — the other four being Christopher, Adam, Eron, and Derek Otcasek (the singer’s legal last name), from his two previous marriages.
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