Thomas Kinkade Died from Alcohol, Drug Overdose

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Famed "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers, according to a detailed autopsy report released Tuesday.

The coroner said, however, that his heart had grown so enlarged he would have been vulnerable to a fatal heart attack at any time.

"Apparently he had given up drinking and maybe he had just started again. His levels were definitely in the toxic range," Joseph O'Hara, Santa Clara County's lead medical examiner, explained.

Kinkade's art and other products brought in about $100 million a year. However, in recent years, the 54-year-old artist struggled with personal and professional issues.

Despite commercial success, Kinkade's brother told The San Jose Mercury News that art critics panned his work for appearing to appeal to the broadest audience possible. And in 2010 one of his companies filed for bankruptcy.

Exacerbating matters, he broke up with his wife two years ago and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

"As much as he said it didn't bother him, in his heart deep down inside it would sadden him that people would criticize, so hatefully, his work and his vision, when people didn't understand him," said his brother, Patrick Kinkade, an associate professor of criminal justice at Texas Christian University.

The self-described "Painter of Light" passed away on April 6.

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