Soul Train's Don Cornelius Found Dead

Police believe the 75-year-old committed suicide
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2012 9:23 AM CST
Soul Train's Don Cornelius Found Dead
This March 6, 2006, file photo shows former host of the television show "Soul Train," Don Cornelius at his office in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)

Soul Train creator and longtime host Don Cornelius was found dead this morning in his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home, in what police are calling an apparent suicide. Law enforcement sources say the 75-year-old died from a single gunshot wound to the head, which they believe was self-inflicted. Cornelius' Soul Train holds the title of the "longest-running first-run nationally syndicated show in television history," reports the Los Angeles Times. Its 35-year run began in 1971, and in 2010 Cornelius told the paper that he was working on a sort of biographical movie about the show.

TMZ notes that the past few years have been rough ones for Cornelius: He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence following a 2008 incident involving his wife, whom he divorced in 2010. Sources also told TMZ that Cornelius had been battling health issues for a long time, among them a stroke and a condition that forced him to undergo brain surgery. (Read more Don Cornelius stories.)

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