Ric Ocasek‘s cause of death was revealed on Monday, September 16, one day after he was found dead in his home at age 75.
The Cars frontman died naturally of heart disease, according to the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office. Pulmonary emphysema, which causes a decrease in respiratory function and breathlessness, contributed to his death.
His estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova, honored the late singer with an Instagram post on the same day. “Thank you,” the former supermodel, 54, captioned a photo of flowers left outside the New York City townhouse she shared with the “Just What I Needed” singer.
She added in a separate post: “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. 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, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private.”
Porizkova also included a message from her sons Jonathan, 25, and Oliver, 21: “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.
In May 2018, the former America’s Next Top Model judge announced that she and Ocasek had split after 28 years of marriage.
“Our family always has been — and still is — a well-built car. When the four of us are together, we can go wherever the road takes us. But as a bicycle, my husband and I no longer pedal in unison. So, we’re ditching the bicycle,” the Model Summer author wrote on Instagram at the time. “Ric and I have been peacefully separated for the past year. The photos of our happy family are, in fact, happy family photos; we are just no longer a couple. The love we have for one another is so wide and deep it’s practically tangible, and that sort of love can never disappear. Expect to keep seeing happy family photos.”
She went on to write, “As I’m sure you can understand, out of respect for our children and each other, we’ll not be commenting further (here or elsewhere) at this time.”
Porizkova and Ocasek tied the knot in 1989 after meeting five years earlier on the set of The Cars’ “Drive” music video.
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