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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
106.

superbadnerves1    

Oh and by the way good looking out on this one tmz because you have a tendency to overlook real news for bs

903 days ago
107.

Rocco    

He helped so many young musical acts throughout his journey, while battling severe addiction problems going back to the 80's.

Thanks Don, for all you did. RIP.

903 days ago
108.

your own luck    

Without a doubt, the best musical entertainment and dance show ever on TV. Don Cornelius, R.I.P. Wishing you love, peace, and soul.

903 days ago
109.

Kelley    

Medications can make a person do strange things that they wouldn't have done otherwise.

903 days ago
110.

Chris    

This guy was one of the biggest race-baiting racist douchebags to ever gain the kind of fame he did. I spit on your grave you suicidal coward. Good riddance.

903 days ago
111.

Laurie    

Very sad. RIP.

903 days ago
112.

Datalord    

Well, guess he won't be beating up any more women.

903 days ago
113.

Michelle    

I grew up with Don on Saturday mornings. He will be missed. May he rest in peace without any further pain. ♥

903 days ago
114.

Rahsheem Allie    

The gun shot wound was just self inflicted, there is NO PROOF that it was suicide!!!!
#R.I.P. Don

903 days ago
115.

Mo James    

I'm not trying to be rude, just addressing the elephant in the room, so to speak, and a lot of you are thinking what I'm about to say: What!!! C'mon, now! Wow! Really?!!! Suicide at 75 years old?!!! Why jump off the bus when you're THAT close to your 'final destination'? I will ALWAYS admire Don Cornelius, I mean, who wouldn't? But, what must he have been going through? Gee Whiz!!!

903 days ago
116.

kay    

This is a sad day. Soul Train was a GREAT show!!!

903 days ago
117.

SANDRA PINOLA    

SO SAD!! love peace and soul!!!

903 days ago
118.

Rich    

Younger people might find it hard to fathom these days, what with the internet and being able to see anything from anywhere on your phone, but in his day he was the only real source of black, soul, and rhythm and blues music with a visual. And it was no small feat to make it successful on regular TV back then. He was a true pioneer, unlike some of the clowns around today. He was the real deal. Funny how much a part of my childhood he was. Seeing this, it all came back to me. And his following was comprised of all races from what I saw - not just black music lovers but music lovers of all stripes.

903 days ago
119.

Kevin Green    

Don,

WHY MAN!!!! WHY!!!!!

THAT'S NOT THE WAY YOU GO OUT MY MAN!!!!

903 days ago
120.

Tony    

Another sad day in my life,nothing is the same since you been gone,you could of call me,Don you hurt us more than you will ever know..we truly loved you Don..just why??why did you do this.you will always be missed..we never thought you would do such a thing..How could you leave us this way??

903 days ago
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