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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
211.

General Juke     

I don't believe he killed himself. This is really suspect. Foul play all day! The truth will come out soon.

933 days ago
212.

REINA    

R.I.P. ~Don Cornelius..God Bless You..at peace now.~you will be so missed.
"The memories will live on forever" ~~Soul Train that we grew up with!!!

933 days ago
213.

Becky    

Sad to hear of Don Cornelius death loved watchin SOULLLLLLLLLLLLLL Train Just wanted to be there in that line dancin!!!!R.I.P!!!

933 days ago
214.

jim str    

kept black culture alive? what the heck is "black culture"? if there is such a thing then there are thousands of "black cultures" in africa. which one are we talking about here?
does having an afro haircut, wearing 70's disco outfits, and fist bumps constitute "black culture"? frankly I prefer the culture that produced mozart and pavarotti, not the culture that produced snoop dog, I dont care how wealthy he is. al capone was wealthy too. so was stalin.

933 days ago
215.

LadyD    

Heartfelt condolences for the family of such an ICONIC trailblazer. His vision allowed us to see the beginning of many legendary careers and not to forget the incredible dance moves. Mr. Don Cornelius will surely be missed. Love...Peace...Soul!

933 days ago
216.

George    

Goodbye Don, you will be sorely missed. I remember when I was in Chicago and watched Soul Train every Saturday afternoon on WGN9.

933 days ago
217.

thelya    

It's sad, but true, I believe everyone goes through their demons in life, the question is will you be strong or will you be weak? the devil takes control and ruin the best of what god gives us. I will continue on praying for the weak, cause only the strong survives and that is god. You definitely can't go wrong, so why ask why?

932 days ago
218.

Dale    

Mr Cornelius brought joy and happiness to the masses black,white, yellow and brown. We know Soul Train it was the fabric of America. His show bridged the gap between races the one thing we all love is good music no matter the color of the artist, thats what Don brought us every Saturday morning "The Groove"we could all dance to. May God keep him and bless in his kingdom.RIP DON "LOVE,PEACE AND SOUL"

932 days ago
219.

rj    

Glad you jump on this train of sadness. Don Cornelius was a genius who had a few issues. Now his head is on your epole parading around for all to see...including his wife. Who knows how she or his other family feels. I am sad that the 'hippest trip in America ' is over. I will miss "Peace, Love and Soul". Apparently his assailants did not miss that reality.

932 days ago
220.

Jay-El    

When something like this happens, it's easy to get discouraged. I am praying for encouragement to overcome this difficulty in the passing of Don Cornelius. R.I.P

932 days ago
221.

Javier    

Don is doing the "Soul Train Line" in heaven. R.I.P. Mr. Cornelius.

932 days ago
222.

mis jag    

so sad to live and die like that. may god have mercy on his soul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! will miss you don.

932 days ago
223.

Janet Y    

I was honored to be an original dancer on Soul Train when I was in 8th grade. The show came on at 430pm Mon thru Fri in Chicago and was taped down town from the top of the Board of Trade building. He made us feel like we were stars and that dreams could come true.

932 days ago
224.

Shereese L Davis    

I was so shocked to hear about his demise, Only he and God know's the reason he felt he had to leave this life so abruptly, believe me it was not God's fault he pulled that trigger. R.I.P Don Peace and Soul Brother.

932 days ago
225.

Mighty jo Conwright    

He was one of a kind take you rest. you have done well
may your faimly be bless all ways.

932 days ago
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