He passed away in a clinic in Germany after having fought cancer of the bile duct for some time. He was surrounded by his family.
Manzarek founded the band with Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and John Densmore in 1964. They became icons of the psychedelic era, having found the inspiration for their name in a poem by William Blake: “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
A statement from his family says: “Ray passed away today at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife Dorothy and his brothers Rick and James.
“The Doors formed when Ray had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. LA 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 groundbreaking songs.
“After Morrison’s death in 1971, Ray 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.”
Guitarist Krieger says: “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate. I’m glad 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.”