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. ~ ~ squiggly line ~~~~~

    That is a shame. He brought happiness and hope to alot of people. I pray he is up there in heaven having a big time.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    They sure could have waited for just a little more info. In your endeavor to be first in reporting you make yourself look really lame.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Islamic Militant

    He could have been killed by a christian militant. Was Cornelius christian? I mean, he's gone now. But was he?

    February 1, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy ©

    Aww, this really stinks.
    Rest in peace, Don.
    My sympathy to his family and friends...his show touched many lives, and was part of the reason I love the Motown Sound as much today as I did in my childhood.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    That is so true banasy. I remember this show so well. I couldn't wait for the weekends for this to come one.
    Peace, Love and Sooooooul.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Observant

    Hey, I just realized something. That dude was black.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    Oh no, not Don Cornelius, the man w/ s.e.x.iest, deep, bedroom voice on the planet! I have watched SoulTrain probably for the full 37 yrs it was on TV! While I'm sad that he's gone in such a violent manner, somehow suicide seems kinder than homicide! If he was murdered I hope his attacker will get swift retribution! My thoughts go out to his family, friends & fans! Love, Peace & Soouul, Don!!

    February 1, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Big Game James

    He made doing chores around the house go by faster, help the rhythymless have one or two go to dance moves and educate with the Soul Train Scramble Board!! LOL!! Soul Train outlasted American Bandstand and gave some RnB and soul artists the exposure they would not have gotten anywhere else.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy ©

    Thanks for dropping in, Jj! 😉

    February 1, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. banasy ©

    What? No STPks 'Interstate Love Song"?

    February 1, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy ©

    S T P's, I mean.

    February 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Johnny Cash

    She is long and sleek and made for moving she's outward bound at any time she can
    She won't be staying long in any station she's the daughter of a railroad man

    February 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jethro Tull

    In the shuffling madness of locomotive breath,
    Runs the all time loser headlong to his death.

    February 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bobby

    I love you Elizabeth.

    February 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RAGE Against the Machine

    River Tam: "Bullet in the Brain Pan, Squish!"

    February 1, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
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