Cars frontman Ric Ocasek died of cardiovascular disease, according to an autopsy report released Monday by the New York City medical examiner’s office cited by Yahoo News and other outlets. More specifically, the cause was hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, also called atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of plaque in the arteries that can weaken the heart’s muscle. The autopsy also noted pulmonary emphysema as a contributing factor.

Less than 24 hours after news broke of Ocasek’s death yesterday, on Monday afternoon his wife of 28 years, Paulina Porizkova, posted a touching note on Instagram, and his sons posted a drawing their father did presumably at some point in the last couple of days.

Porizkova’s note says the singer died in his sleep after surgery, presumably for his heart condition.

“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,” she 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.”


The pair separated in 2017 and married in 1989. They met on the set of a Cars video in 1984; Porizkova starred in several of the band’s clips.

The Cars posted the following note from Ocasek’s sons on their Twitter account.