Coroner: 'Soul Train' founder dead of gunshot wound
Don Cornelius holds a plaque at the Hollywood Walk of Fame after his star was unveiled in Los Angeles in February 1997.
February 1st, 2012
10:12 AM ET

Coroner: 'Soul Train' founder dead of gunshot wound

Don Cornelius, the founder of the "Soul Train" television show, has been found dead in Los Angeles, Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Wednesday. He was 75.

He died of a gunshot wound at a house on Mulholland Drive, said Los Angeles police Officer Tenesha Dodine. Police responded to the call about 4 a.m. (7 a.m. ET), Dodine said.

An investigation was ongoing into whether the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, police said.

Cornelius created a pilot for "Soul Train" using $400 of his own money, according to the website The show was named after a promotional event he put together in 1969, the site said.

"Soul Train is the longest running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history," according to the website of Soul Train Holdings. "During its 37-year run, the show featured such staples as the Soul Train line and performers as important and diverse as Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson and Beyonce."

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Filed under: California • Crime
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Bonnie

    Really Elizabeth....SO uncalled for! You show no respect for the dead. What if 1 of your loved ones passed...would you want to see someone making lame, idiotic comments towards them...? I don't think so. Grow up & give respect where its due.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cat-Cat

    God bless him, his decision so let it be. Just sayin

    February 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kenneth westbrook

    I feel he had a lot of things on his mind...

    February 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WakeUp

    He was black. Probably a drug deal gone bad. Just sayin...

    February 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwech

      You're stupid ... just sayin'.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • God's Child

      WakeUp is exactly what you need to do!!! Your comment was ignorant and disrespectful and there is a special place for people like you. You need to get with the times because it is 2012 and in case you forgot a BLACK man is currently running this country!!! Judging by your comment you do not nor will you ever have enough intelligence to even dream of being President of the United States of America aka Barack Obama. There are a lot of good black men in this country and they do not sell drugs. Black men contribute to this country every day and I guarantee that they are a lot smarter than you will ever be. It's ignorant people like you that perpetuate racism!!! I pray that God blesses you with some common sense and respect! R.I.P. Mr. Don Cornelius

      February 2, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Geez dude. I guess don't read too much. They said it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Just sayin.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. God's Child

    Looks like WakeUp is not the only one leaving ignorant comments on this site. A man is dead do you have any ounce of respect in your disrespectful soul. I am going to pray that God blesses you with some respect because you need it. Remember there is a such thing as KARMA and you do not want to get on the wrong side of that!!!

    February 2, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
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