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Don Cornelius

Donald Cortez "Don" Cornelius (September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012) was an American television show host and producer who was best known as the creator of the nationally syndicated dance/music franchise Soul Train, which he hosted from 1971 to 1993. Cornelius sold the show to MadVision Entertainment in 2008. Cornelius was born in Chicago's South Side on September 27, 1936, and raised in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Following his graduation from DuSable High School in 1954, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served 18 months in Korea. He worked at various jobs following his stint in the military, including selling tires, automobiles, and insurance, and as an officer with the Chicago Police Department. He quit his day job to take a three-month broadcasting course in 1966, despite being married with two sons and having only $400 in his bank account. In 1966, he landed a job as an announcer, news reporter and disc jockey on Chicago radio station WVON. Cornelius joined Chicago television station WCIU-TV in 1967 and hosted a news program called A Black's View of the News. In 1970, he launched Soul Train on WCIU-TV as a daily local show. The program entered national

LATEST STORIES
  
Don Cornelius Autopsy Report -- 'I Don't Know How Long I Can Take This'

Don Cornelius Autopsy Report
'I Don't Know How Long I Can Take This'

Don Cornelius was in an extreme amount of pain in the days before his death ... and minutes before he shot himself, Don phoned his son and told him, "I don't know how long I can take this" ...… READ MORE >

Don Cornelius Suicide -- LAPD Capt. on Scene Was Once on Soul Train!

Don Cornelius Suicide
LAPD Capt. on Scene Was Once on 'Soul Train'

The LAPD captain who ran the crime scene on the day Don Cornelius killed himself was no stranger to the legendary TV host ... because in her younger days, she appeared on "Soul Train" ... TMZ has… READ MORE >

- 964 days ago
Cuba Gooding Sr. -- I Owe My Career to Don Cornelius

Cuba Gooding Sr.
I Owe My Career to Don Cornelius

Don Cornelius isn't getting the credit he deserves for "creating" the biggest music stars of the 70s -- at least according to Cuba Gooding Senior ... who got his big break on "Soul Train." Long… READ MORE >

- 971 days ago
Don Cornelius' Son -- He Called Me Right Before He Died

Don Cornelius' Son
He Called Me Before He Died

Don Cornelius' son claims the late "Soul Train" creator phoned him just hours before he shot himself in the head -- describing the last-minute outreach as a "call of urgency."Don's son Tony… READ MORE >

- 973 days ago
Tavis Smiley -- Don Cornelius Saved Black Culture

Tavis Smiley
Cornelius SAVED Black Culture

video platform video management video solutions video player Talk show host Tavis Smiley believes "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius was responsible for saving black culture in the 70s and 80s --… READ MORE >

- 974 days ago
Don Cornelius' Ex-Wife Viktoria Chapman Cornelius Scores Huge Life Insurance Payout

Don Cornelius
Ex-Wife Scores Huge Life Insurance Payout

Don Cornelius died with 2 life insurance policies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the ex-wife he hated will get all the money ... TMZ has learned.Don's breakup with Viktoria Chapman… READ MORE >

- 974 days ago
Don Cornelius -- No Suicide Note

Don Cornelius
No Suicide Note

Don Cornelius did not leave a suicide note at the home where he shot himself ... this according to multiple law enforcement sources. We have been told by numerous people today that Don's health… READ MORE >

- 974 days ago
Don Cornelius -- 911 Call Made By His Son

Don Cornelius
911 Call Made By His Son

We now know who made the call to 911 after Don Cornelius shot himself in the head early this morning -- it was his own son. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... one of Don's two sons made the call… READ MORE >

- 974 days ago
Shemar Moore -- I Couldn't Fill Don Cornelius' Shoes on 'Soul Train'

Shemar Moore
I Couldn't Fill Don's Shoes On "Soul Train"

Former Soul Train host Shemar Moore said his “heart is heavy” after hearing about the suicide of Don Cornelius -- and says it was impossible to fill his shoes on the iconic show.Moore,… READ MORE >

- 974 days ago
'Soul Train' Don Cornelius Dead of Suicide at 75

Don Cornelius
Commits Suicide

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… READ MORE >

- 974 days ago

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