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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
181.

PokerStar    

Also: He was the forerunner of tv when there were much fewer "black" shows on back then. This man fought and stood for his own with SoOOoOOOOooul Train and I have nothing but mad respect for this front runner. He didn't fold when push came to shove - jive turkey ; )

908 days ago
182.

crzycrzthetechn9cian    

Life is a MUTHA****A! Women, sooner or later theyll kill ya. SAD.

908 days ago
183.

DIVAB    

Ride that Soul Train my man you have earned it
Thx for all your contributions for my love of music
Rest In Peace Tell MJ he is so missed

908 days ago
184.

Aalim El Dey    

RIP, Don, and ride that soul train right to the brightest star, then straight on to heaven!

908 days ago
185.

Devin Stephenson    

This is not surprising. Everyone always thinks that doing something good means that your life is good. I've been around too much that is contrary. I hope you didn't commit suicide, and that you and God were on good terms. Love you, and I'm praying for your family. I wish you love, hope you're at peace, and that you had a good soul.

908 days ago
186.

Denise    

I grew up with Don watching him on Soul Train! I loved his smoothness. He definitely was a pioneer, it is very sad to me that he took this way out. Rest in peace.

908 days ago
187.

Bill Board    

LOng Live Don !!! You make it cool to be different and where the black **** clark of soul/r&b / ect ect

908 days ago
188.

Jane    

RIP! Don contributed so much to the world of entertainment and gave people a real contribution at a time when it was sorely needed. Very sad it ended this way....

908 days ago
189.

Jay Williams     

Dang brother. We all thank you for everthang. RIP!!!!!!!!!

908 days ago
190.

eddie miller    

This sadden's my heart to hear about my icon that I grew up with is now gone,R.I.P.Don,I will always remember the good times my family & I dancing in the living room with ur show on t.v.thank u 4 those memories.May god watch over ur family.God bless.

908 days ago
191.

MsGilliam    

he will be miss and a wonderful man to create something that we all spent time watching and loving every Saturday i loved Soul Train and will always think of Don evey time i watches the reruns

908 days ago
192.

Memorylane    

I am so sad to hear this, Don Cornelius was truly an icon who made so many of us dream about being on Soul Train back in the day. No one could MC like Don; no one had that deep magnificent voice, and no one will ever take his place. RIP Don and thank you for the wonderful memories!

908 days ago
193.

Deborah A. Bell    

Thank you Don, for you did with Soul Train and more.
You will be miss, Rest now you are in Gods hands.

908 days ago
194.

The Dog #    

Soulllllll Brother#1 R.I.P.

908 days ago
195.

tidwellgirls    

RIP Don Cornelius you will be truly missed by me and many other fans of yours.

908 days ago
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