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OTRC: Ray Manzarek dies: Doors keyboardist, founding member was 74

Ray Manzarek of The Doors performs at the Congress Theatre in Chicago on Nov. 13, 2011. (flickr.com/photos/farmdog/)

Ray Manzarek, a keyboardist of The Doors who also co-founded the rock band with Jim Morrison, has died at age 74.

Manzarek passed away at a hospital in Rosenheim, Germany on Monday, May 20 after battling bile duct cancer, according to a family statement posted on the group's Facebook page, which added that he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek and brothers Rick and James at the time. He is also survived by a son, Pablo, and three grandchildren.

Manzarek and Morrison formed The Doors in 1965 after meeting on Venice Beach in California. The group became one of the most iconic rock bands in the world, spurring hits such as "Light My Fire" and "L.A. Woman." Morrison died in 1971. Manzarek went on to pursue a solo career and reunited with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger for a tour in 2002 (watch a video of them performing "Light My Fire" in Chicago, below).

"I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today," Krieger said. "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."

Doors drummer John Densmore reposted Manzarek's family's statement on his own Facebook page.

Funeral arrangements are pending and Manzarek's family asks that in lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek's name at standup2cancer.org.

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