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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.

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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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296 COMMENTS

No Avatar
166.

jj    

Looks like his train came in at an unexpected stop. Boogie down brother

941 days ago
167.

DIANE    

SO SAD SOUL TRAIN WAS EVERYTHING TO BLACKS BACK IN DAY .I LOVE TO WATCH DANCE,AND THE CLOTHES THEY HAD ON, I THINK THAT Y I LOVE OLD SCHOOL MUSIC CAUSE OF SOUL TRAIN I DONT NO HOW TO FEEL ABOUT THIS JUST BLACKS, I LOVE KEEP DIE.

941 days ago
168.

Annie    

So sad and my thoughts and prayers to his family. Soul Train and American Bandstand were two great shows that can never be duplicated.They both had iconic hosts.

941 days ago
169.

Tasha    

Yeah right, I don't think that man shot himself. I think someone else did that and made it look like he committed suicide.

941 days ago
170.

Silverado Mom    

Very sad to be in that kind of pain and feel no alternative. I am taking this news and viewing much of the Sooooooul Train double lined dancers with all their platform shoes, afro's with picks in 'em, plaid, knickers and the rest. Loved those dancing days!

941 days ago
171.

Sniffit    

I blame the racist GOP for this. The stress they have put on him and others is insane.

941 days ago
172.

ieatpinktacoz    

rip *****h

941 days ago
173.

ieatpinktacoz    

rip /\/iggah

941 days ago
174.

Tanner    

YOU ***** MOTHER ****ER> Pain is EVIDENT BUT FAMILY IS FOR EVER . . Pain Is a Sacrifice think about the good times that you've had at least you can do Is leaver your Family With The FAct Your NOt a *****.

941 days ago
175.

Zed    

Goodnight, sweet prince...

941 days ago
176.

Carmen S.    

El "DON" is dead may he RIP, loved to see him on "Soul Train" My heart goes out to his Family, just think there will be no more pain for him RIP my brother.

941 days ago
177.

Jonny    

He deserved it. He really did.

941 days ago
178.

Paul SEQUENCE Ferguson    

We lost another BIG ONE www.yeswecare.net

941 days ago
179.

PokerStar    

They will do GSR tests on his hands and know if he fired the gun or not. May he RIP. He made it a joy to watch SOooOOOOoOoul Train with his quips, clothes and attitude. RIP Big Pimp Daddy DC. We're gonna miss you.
You never know what a person is going through here, so please don't judge the man.

941 days ago
180.

Chris    

Don was great! Don was that "Smooth dude" on the air that just had it going on! Don was cool because he was also very articulate and showed his intellectual side and I think this new generation should take a few notes! :)

941 days ago
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