He was 75.
The New York Police Department received a call around 4 p.m. Sunday “for an unconscious male” at a townhouse on East 19th Street, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information told CNN.
Ocasek died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to a press release Monday from the medical examiner’s office. There was a contributing condition of pulmonary emphysema. The manner of death was natural.
Porizkova shared a photo of flowers outside the home.
The Cars became hugely popular in the late 1970s and early 80s with hits including “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Drive.”
Ocasek married Porizkova after the two met while shooting the video for 1984’s “Drive.” They had two children together.
He was known for his mop of black hair and black sunglasses, which featured in many of the band’s videos, including “You Might Think” in 1984.
“(T)he Cars were the ultimate New Wave dream machine: a hook-savvy super-charged quintet that fused 60s pop, 70s glam and avant-rock minimalism into a decade of dashboard-radio nirvana,” the band’s biography reads on the Hall of Fame website.
The band had 13 Top 40 singles and four Top 10 LPs, according to the biography.
Ocasek founded the group in 1976, the biography said.
Ocasek was the band’s main song writer and also played rhythm guitar.
The band broke up in 1988, but Ocasek went on to make solo albums, the biography said.
“It’s kind of weird because it’s like a lifetime,” Ocasek told the magazine, looking back at the history of The Cars. “It is a lifetime. I had three families during that time. They are like lives that go by and millions of people and things and artists and writers and business people and fans. … It’s a lot of stuff. It’s been a pretty eventful life, I can say.”
Reaction from musicians
As news of Ocasek’s death spread, several musicians and other celebrities posted tributes to the fallen rocker.
Musician Billy Idol said in a tweet he was sorry to hear the news.
Peter Frampton tweeted that his thoughts were with Ocasek’s family and applauded his career as a writer and singer.
Gun N’ Roses guitarist Slash posted a photo of Ocasek during a performance.
Rainn Wilson, star of “The Office,” also tweeted his condolences, saying he was “stunned and saddened.”
CNN’s Melissa Gray and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.