LOS ANGELES — It is being reported that around 4:00 this morning LA Police were called to the Sherman Oaks home of Soul Train creator, Don Cornelius where they found Cornelius near death from a gunshot. He was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at 4:56 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Unofficial sources within LAPD are calling his death a suicide by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Cornelius was the creative force behind the long running syndicated series, Soul Train. He was the host and producer from the launch on August 17, 1970 to stepping away from his hosting duties in 1993. He continued to be a moving force behind the show until 2006 when the show ended its long run and remains the longest running syndicated program in television history. Wheel of Fortune would have to run through the 2017 season. Soul Train aired 1,117 episodes across the years.
The program, patterned very much after Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, was a springboard for many successful soul groups and artists of the era. Artists to perform on Soul Train include, Michael and LaToya Jackson, Chuck Berry, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Lenny Kravitz and many others. (For complete list of Soul Train guests go HERE.)