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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
46.

tanya    

Rest In peace True American Icon!!!!!!!!

940 days ago
47.

Jason W    

As a white guy, southerner and republican those who prejudge would say I didnt love Don and what he brought me. In the days before You MTV Raps and R&B on every station his show was the only way I could see my favorite groups as a kid. I would stay up to 1am to watch New Edition, LL Cool J., Sugar Hill Gang and many many more. He was a window into music that was not covered when I was a kid and I will always love him for that. Thank you king of cool for opening the door to my favorite music of my life. May God take his soul and I hope he now has peace.

940 days ago
48.

Proud2bBlack    

Terrible news, iconic he was. Unfortunate that all the lives he touched, he would feel the sadness in his own to take his life. When I was a little girl, my cousin went on Soul Train, and in my innocent little mind I told people she was a television star. I giggle when I think about it. Love you Don and you will be sorely missed.
The Spencer Family

940 days ago
49.

LESLIE    

SHAZAMM. I WAS JUST WATCHING A 90'S EPISODE THE OTHER DAY, AND WAS LAUGHING AT THE "BACK THAT THANG UP" JIRATING DANCING. EVERY ONE HERE HAS TO DO THE SOUL TRAIN LINE DANCE WHEN THEY COME OUT THEIR CUBICLES IN MEMORY OF MR. SMOOTH VOICE DON CORNELIUS. DO THE BUMP AND SHAKE THAT THANG ALL DAY. CHOO CHOO.

940 days ago
50.

Pat Robbins    

Very sad, and so sorry to hear this news.

940 days ago
51.

iCu    

Didn't see this coming... Sad ending. I thought he had his guns taken away from him ...?

940 days ago
52.

beau     

LOVE, PEACE AND SOUL !!!!

940 days ago
53.

mimii cooper    

MY heart is heavy today!! LOVE ALWAYS DON!!! Best AFRO ever!!

940 days ago
54.

ivona poyntz    

Shame...

940 days ago
55.

knucklecheese    

How sad is this? RIP Don.

940 days ago
56.

Dani    

RIP Mr Cornelious - a true legend and icon!

940 days ago
57.

Priceless    

This is a very sad moment for everyone. Poor Don, R.I.P.

940 days ago
58.

isaac    

RIP , what if it wasnt suicide

940 days ago
59.

JAZZY    

R.I.P DON CORNELIUS 4 WE DON'T KNOW UR STORY NOR REASON BUT MAY GOD SHINE HIS LIGHT ON YOU,YOUR FAMILY& ALL THE GREAT WORK YOU HAVE ACHIEVED."PEACE&SOUL"

940 days ago
60.

Faithful Watchman    

Sometimes one's life, when looking from afar, gives the impression that the glitter of fame is incredible, but in reality, can be very fleeting wrought with dark places. Don Cornelius reinforces to us that the phrase "Be careful for what you wish for" applies. My condolences to the family.

940 days ago
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