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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
16.

Miss Greta    

God rest his SOOOOUUUUUULLLLLL

903 days ago
17.

Nunya    

RIP Don <3

903 days ago
18.

Leliah    

A sad occasion when one's problems are so great mentally that death is better than life. RIP DON

903 days ago
19.

Muffers    

OMG.....I can't believe this.....RIP Don, we wish you LOVE, PEACE and SOUL.

903 days ago
20.

Muppet    

What a sad day. RIP Don. Prayers for his family and friends.:(

903 days ago
21.

Mulholland Drive    

R.I.P.

Souuuuuul Trainnnnnnnn!

We wish you love, peace and soul!

903 days ago
22.

Patterson23    

RIP Don...

903 days ago
23.

JoeFrancis    

Sad to hear this, RIP.

903 days ago
24.

HumanNature    

R.I.P DON CORNELIUS

903 days ago
25.

Sarcia    

Dear God! I'm very sorry to hear this. What was going on in Don life that would make him do this to himself? He was a very brilliant and cultural icon and his suicide will never change that, he'll go down in history as one of the best. Don Cornelius will always be remember and loved. I hope he's at peace!

RIP Don Cornelius

903 days ago
26.

Cheryl A.    

Oh dear, I absolutely LOVED soul train and Mr. Don's beautiful voice. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace.

903 days ago
27.

memchee    

RIP Mr. Cornelius!

903 days ago
28.

MarkAnthonyJenkins    

My condolences to the entire Cornelius Family. Rest in Peace my brother Don Cornelius. You may be gone but will never be forgotten. Peace.

903 days ago
29.

gutsygirl    

God rest his Soooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuul.

903 days ago
30.

cindy    

I wonder if he had to do a word scramble to get into Heaven>

903 days ago
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