The Los Angeles Police Department revealed earlier today that the body of legendary Soul Train host, Don Cornelius’ body was discovered dead around 4 a.m. in his Sherman Oaks, California., home. He was pronounced dead at 4:56 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai hospital from a a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
75 year old Cornelius was a disc jockey, who would then help make music history by launching the syndicated music show, Soul Train in 1970.The show started as a local show in Chicago, and took off nationally later that year. It became a landmark platform for music in Black America. Like American Bandstand did for Rock and Roll/Pop music before it, Soul Train was historic platform for the black community’s impact on Pop culture with R&B/Soul music It featured trend-setting black dancers as well as breakout performances from Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and, The O’Jays, Barry White and others. The impact of Soul Train lead to Cornelius the annual Soul Train Awards as well.
Cornelius was host of Soul Train until 1993, and the show wrapped up in 2006 after 35 years, setting a record with the longest run in national syndication of any series ever.
Cornelius received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and in 1995, and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
Despite his professional achievements,it was no secret that the man had a very troubled personal life. Cornelius was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence for beating his then-wife in 2008. He pled no contest and served three years probation. The couple divorced in 2010.
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