The New York Police Department received a call around 4 p.m. “for an unconscious male” at a townhouse on East 19th Street, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information told CNN.
Ocasek, whose identity was confirmed by police, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Cars became hugely popular in the late 1970s and early 80s with hits including “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Drive.”
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)the 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.
“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.”
CNN’s Melissa Gray contributed to this report.