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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.

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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Joyce Gibbs    

Was very saddened to learn of Don Cornelius passing this morning, but fortunately we can still watch and enjoy Soul Train and honor his legacy.

1003 days ago


Why would somebody wait till there 75 to off there self somebody mirked my man

1003 days ago


He will be missed. RIP Mr Cornelius. LOVE PEACE AND SOUL.

1003 days ago

maria medina    

very sad, RIP

1003 days ago

Mad Max    

The "Soul Train" has left the station. RIP, Don.

1003 days ago


This man was a legend in his time..The world will truly miss him..and he was respected by all nationalities...Rest in Peace..dear Don.

1003 days ago

Justin Case    

So sad

1003 days ago


RIP Mr. Cornelius. This is so sad. He was an Icon and he will be greatly missed. LOVE PEACE AND SOUL!!!

1003 days ago


He went to host a heavenly show with REAL musicians..

1003 days ago

Dee Jenkins    

mymotherhasanotherson:You were my "wake up call," every saturday morning. Awesome guy. May You Rest In Peace.

1003 days ago


I was just wondering about him yesterday. Mid 70's Sunday mornings American Bandstand and Soul Train.

1003 days ago

Paula Rose    

Our sincere condolances goes out to Don's family. May your soul R.I.P. Only who feels it knows it, I will not judge you...Sleep on, Sleep on thou humble servant. God has another mission for you. Peace & Rest to your soul.

1003 days ago


Wept this morning when I heard the news.

Players from our collegiate basketball team...

... (mostly white dudes) ... would race home from dreaded, early-morning Saturday basketball practice...

...during the long Winter, East Coast Season -

To catch "Soul Train" and to never ever be late for Don's opening schtick.

-I rejoice in the Life Don lead -

And all that Don bought to the World -

1003 days ago


Horrible news and very, very sad. As a white kid growing up in Cleveland I never missed an episode nor did my mother! The show lives on in repeats and on YouTube! I was just thinking about him the other day and how he didn't care for rap music - I totally agreed with him.

1003 days ago


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