Byrds’ Co-Founder Clark Died of a Heart Attack, Manager Says

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Gene Clark, a co-founder of the rock group the Byrds, died of a heart attack, his manager said Saturday.

Clark, 46, was found unconscious in his Sherman Oaks home by an acquaintance shortly before noon Friday. Police and paramedics were called but could not revive him, said city Fire Department spokesman Greg Acevedo.

“He’d had health problems,” Clark’s manager, Saul Davis, said Saturday. “He was a tough-living guy. The police decided it didn’t need a coroner or anything.”


A private physician signed a document attributing Clark’s death to natural causes. Police Sgt. Joseph Brazas said such a procedure is standard when officers see no evidence that a death was either suicide or homicide and the deceased has a physician of record.

Davis said Clark had been treated for stomach ulcers, and had part of his stomach removed in surgery.

Clark, born Harold Eugene Clark in Tipton, Mo., was the oldest child in a large family--”either 10 or 12 children,” Davis said. He was a member of the New Christy Minstrels before 1964, when he founded the Byrds with Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Michael Clarke.

The Byrds merged folk with rock, and the band’s first single, a recording of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” rose to the top of the charts in 1965. Their version of Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!” also reached No. 1 that year.