Soul Train Creator Don Cornelius Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

Rucuss staffFebruary 1, 2012

Soul Train creator Don Cornelius was found dead Wednesday morning at his Los Angeles home.

Multiple reports claim that Cornelius took his own life. According to TMZ, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 75.

A source told TMZ, he was plagued with health issues for years that included a stroke and a condition that required brain surgery. Cornelius was involved in a bitter divorce in 2009. He told an L.A. judge he was suffering from “significant health issues” and wanted to “finalize this divorce before I die.”

He was arrested in 2008 for beating up his wife. He pled no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence and was placed on 3 years probation.  The divorce was granted in 2010.

Cornelius hosted the show in national syndication from 1971 to 1993. He was the show’s writer, producer, and emcee. Soul Train became the longest-running first-run nationally syndicated show in television history, bringing African-American music and style to the world for 35 years.

Cornelius played a vital role in bringing stars like James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson to a wider audience. He always closed the show with the phrase,”I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

Soul Train went off the air in 2006. Now the show lives on through the Soul Train Music Awards and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.

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