Ray Manzarek, Founding Member of The Doors, Passes Away at 74
Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.
Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. "L.A.Woman," "Break On Through to the Other Side," "The End," "Hello, I Love You," and "Light My Fire" were just some of the band's iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison's death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors' guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.
"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," said Krieger. "I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him."
Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, brothers Rick and James Manczarek, son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo's wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek's name at www.standup2cancer.org.
Statement from Kevin Gore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rhino Entertainment and Warner Music Global Catalog & Licensing-Recorded Music:
“The Rhino family is devastated to hear about the loss of our dear friend Ray Manzarek. Ray’s astounding talent and deep passion have been a perpetual positive presence around Elektra Records, and then Warner Music, since The Doors’ debut in 1967.
Ray was a true music pioneer and composed songs that were so undeniable and profound that they continue to resonate today with fans around the world. His music and legacy will surely be celebrated for generations to come.
We offer our deepest condolences to his wife Dorothy and family in this time and encourage anyone wishing to pay memorial to Ray to make a donation in his name at www.standup2cancer.org.”