On July 3, 2021, crowds of people flocked to Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery to pay their respects to musician and lead vocalist of the Doors, Jim Morrison. It has been 50 years since Jim's death shocked fans everywhere, and many young fans aren't aware of how he died. Here's everything we know about how Jim Morrison died and the circumstances surrounding his death.
How did Jim Morrison die?
According to The Guardian, there are two different tales of the musician's death, but both end in tragedy. The first is the more commonly known account of Jim's death. On July 2 1971, Morrison went to the movies in Paris, returned to his apartment after dinner to listen to music, and died of a heart attack in a bathtub at age 27. The cinema story is the version that is credited to his death, although a second and far more harrowing tale has emerged in recent years.
The second account of Jim Morrison's death that surfaced more recently painted a darker picture of the end of his life. Reportedly, the second story alleges the musician died of an overdose in a Paris nightclub, only to be hauled out and back to his apartment by two drug dealers. Rock critics have speculated about the plausibility of this story for years, but ultimately, the tale remains unconfirmed.
Because at the time, France didn't require postmortem examination on the body, the official cause of Jim Morrison's death is a mystery. Previously, Jim had battled drug and alcohol addictions and moved to Paris to reportedly get clean. Jim's girlfriend and common-law wife Pamela Courson, who would die three years later of a drug overdose herself, told the police she found Jim in the bath at around 6 a.m.
Who inherited Jim Morrison's estate?
Despite long and notorious rumors about his romantic exploits, Jim Morrison never fathered any children to public knowledge. As such, a few years before his death, Jim willed his entire estate to long-term girlfriend Pamela Courson, as noted by Medium. If she failed to survive Jim by three months, then his entire estate would pass to his brother and sister.
At the time he died, Jim was worth $400,000, but unfortunately, following his death, his estate became tied up. Women came forward claiming the musician was the father of their children, members of the Doors sued the estate claiming outstanding advances paid to him. In 1974, following Pamela's passing, Jim Morrison's estate and rights to his image passed to her parents; she left no will at the time.
Jim's parents argued for half of the estate, saying that his will was written when he was not in his right mind due to drugs, and eventually settled out of court with the Morrison's taking half of the royalties and the Coursons's controlling the rights to manage and control Morrison’s image, music, and royalties. Recently, Jim Morrison's assets were valued at $80 million.