... he died from a heroin overdose on June 5, 2002 when he was 50 years-old.
Born Douglas Glenn Colvin in Fort Lee, Virginia, Dee Dee's family moved often because of his dad's military career - even living for sometime in Germany. (His mother was from Germany.)
After he and his mother moved to Forest Hill, New York, Dee Dee met John Cummings, AKA Johnny Ramone, and Thomas Erdelyi - aka Tommy Ramone who played in a band called the Tangerine Puppets.
Dee Dee played bass and was the main songwriter of the punk rock band the Ramones. At first, he was the Ramones lead vocalist, but his difficulty singing and playing bass at the same time resulted in drummer Joey Ramone taking over the lead vocalist duties.
While nearly all of the Ramones' songs were credited equally to all the band members, Dee Dee was the band's most prolific lyricist and songwriter, writing many of the band's most well-known songs, such as "53rd & 3rd," "Commando," "Rockaway Beach" and "Poison Heart." Dee Dee was the band's bassist and main songwriter from 1974 through 1989, when he left to pursue a short-lived and ill-advised career in hip hop music under the name Dee Dee King.
-- "Rockaway Beach"
Afterwards, he returned to his punk roots and released three little-known solo albums featuring brand new songs, many of which were later recorded by the Ramones. He toured the world playing his new songs, Ramones songs and some old favorites in small clubs and continued to write songs for the Ramones until 1996, when the band officially retired.
Influenced by the likes of the Stooges and MC5, in 1974 The Ramones are regarded by many as the first punk rock group. The Ramones went on to performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.
Dee Dee struggled with drug addiction for much of his life, particularly heroin; he began using drugs as a teenager, and continued to use for the majority of his adult life. He appeared to clean up his act in the early 1990s but began using heroin again sometime later.