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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
91.

Sharon S.    

"Only God knows. Love, Peace, and your Soul to God." May the family always remember all the wonderful memories of this 'Great Icon'.

912 days ago
92.

Keith D.    

RIP Don. I grew up watching since the first airing of Soul Train.

912 days ago
93.

Maxwell    

I dont belive it,No Way,Don woundnt go out like that!

912 days ago
94.

brutony    

As a repressed white hick from the sticks, I totally got into Soul Train, felt I could be hip and cool too, and showed how people were meant to DANCE! One of THE coolest brothers EVER-RIP Don!

912 days ago
95.

Judy    

I am so sorry to hear this. I used to watch Soul Train all the time as a kid. Wow. I am praying for his family.

912 days ago
96.

freeza1890    

wow......i got nothin'. and at 75....really? you go that long before you say "screw it"?

912 days ago
97.

Desireee    

RIP Don Cornelius.

912 days ago
98.

Cici    

Don, May God welcome you in heaven for all the fun and laughter you gave us in this life-time

912 days ago
99.

peter    

leave a memory @ http://www.respectance.com/Don_Cornelius/

912 days ago
100.

James Holmes    

Don Cornelius R.I.P. and thank you for all of the great Saturday morning memories... when I was a kid, Saturday morning meant Soul Train and a little dancing!

912 days ago
101.

alfreda bryant    

I have lived with this mans entertainment for over 50yrs..it was a conventional moment on saturday mornings..learning new dances and artist..he will be missed...PEACE..LOVE AND SOUL...HUGS..

912 days ago
102.

LIsa    

Dang!! Now there is "Nooooooooooo Train." Loved his voice and his crazy pimp-ass suits! RIP

912 days ago
103.

palermo    

Grew up watching this show, rest in love, peace and soul Don

912 days ago
104.

dd    

RIP Don, you are a stone gas honey!

912 days ago
105.

superbadnerves1    

Today is my b day and I am going to party for me and don on today Im praying you have your peace now and on today Im going to bring it all the way back and break it all the way down lets keep it live thanks for all the great memories RIP.

912 days ago
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