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Don Cornelius

Commits Suicide

2/1/2012 6:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Don Cornelius Dead of Suicide at 75
Don Cornelius
-- who famously created "Soul Train" was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home this morning ... and law enforcement sources tell us it appears he committed suicide.

We're told cops discovered the body at around 4 AM PT. Law enforcement sources tell us ... Cornelius died from a gunshot wound to the head and officials believe the wound was self-inflicted.

We're told Cornelius was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"Soul Train" changed the landscape of television when it debuted in 1971 and ran until 2006.

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Officials have notified Don's family.

Cornelius was 75.

During Don's bitter divorce proceedings in 2009, he told an L.A. judge he was suffering from "significant health issues" and wanted to "finalize this divorce before I die."

Cornelius was arrested in 2008 for beating up his wife. He pled no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence and was placed on 3 years probation. His probation just terminated.

The divorce was granted in 2010.

Sources close to Don tell us ... the TV icon was plagued with health issues for years ... including a stroke and a condition that required brain surgery.

8:10 AM PST --
Shawn Holley -- Don's lawyer and good friend -- tells TMZ, "This is devastating news. Don was a kind, funny and brilliant man. Even though his many health battles had left him frail, he remained vibrant, courtly and always sharp as a tack."



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Much gratitude to Harvey and TMZ:

For providing space and a corner -

-For which Don Cornelius/SOUL TRAIN fans ...

Can grieve and mourn this incredible Spirit and Being.

A sad day but a powerful Lesson -

In what one Man was able to accomplish - way back in 1970.

966 days ago


This is devastating news. Me and my children watched him the whole time Soul Train was on especially in the early years. I loved him and feel like a friend has passed. God bless him and may he RIP.

966 days ago


Would love to know the executive most-responsible.

For giving the Green Light To Don and to "Soul Train."

When "Soul Train" arrived White America smirked.

"It'll never last - one season and it'll be gone."

Now Don is in the conversation with the greatest Black Pioneers in the history of Show Business:

Including Cosby and Poitier.

-Men That Dared.

966 days ago


God Bless Don Cornelius! You are an icon.

966 days ago


I don't know if this guy is solely responsible for the decline of American Culture, but he was sure a part of it. The current state of the black community in inner cities is, at some level, associated with what this guy introduced on TV so many years ago. It's been downhill for blacks ever since!

966 days ago


RIP. Guy was a legend. Maybe he didn't realize. This is **** news. :(

966 days ago


O M G Mr. Cornelius how can you rest in peace, committing suicide,I will light a candle and pray for you, you was oh so love

966 days ago


RIP, brother Don.

966 days ago


Sad news! :( RIP, sir!

966 days ago


I spent many Saturday afternoons watching everybody from Luther Vandross, Vanity, The Time to Al Green, Barry White, and Chaka Khan on Soul Train. Your career wasn't worth talking about unless you made an appearance with Mr. Cornelius on the Soul Train. He will be missed, but the mark he made on the entertainment industry will remain. RIP Don.

966 days ago



966 days ago

Frankye Kelly- Carruthers    

Every Saturday I was in front of the television because of Don Cornelius. He gave us so much and he will be missed. Rest in peace Don and thank you for the wonderful memories.

966 days ago


Went out on his own terms after a long successful life and career. Props to him.

966 days ago


His health issues must have left him in extreme pain. He's with God now and pain free. Well, I'm assuming God will make an exception considering the pain he was in.

966 days ago


NO FRIGGIN WAY!!!!! OMG. I still watch old episodes of Soul Train. That's how me and my sister learned to dance when we were young. Deep sympathy and condolences go out to his family. Peace, love and SOUL.

966 days ago
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