Soul Train‘s Don Cornelius Found Dead, Apparent Suicide

Don Cornelius, the man behind the popular show Soul Train, was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA home today (February 1) and according to law enforcement, it appears to be a suicide. He was 75 years old.

TMZ reports the body was discovered at around 4 am PT. Law enforcement say he died of a gunshot wound to the head that is believed to have been self-inflicted.

Cornelius was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Sources say there was no sign of foul play, but the Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating.

In 2009, Don told an L.A. judge that he was suffering from “significant health issues” and wanted to “finalize this divorce before I die” during his divorce proceedings, reports TMZ. The divorce was granted later that year.

In a 2010 interview with The Times, Don Cornelius said he was excited about a movie project he was developing about “Soul Train.”

“We’ve been in discussions with several people about getting a movie off the ground. It wouldn’t be the ‘Soul Train’ dance show, it would be more of a biographical look at the project,” he said. “It’s going to be about some of the things that really happened on the show.”

Don Cornelius created the legendary show Soul Train, which debuted in 1971 and ran till 2006. The program became the longest-running first-run nationally syndicated show in television history, according to The Times, bringing African American music and style to the world for 35 years. Cornelius stopped hosting the show in 1993.

Check back with for more on this developing story. —Mariel Concepcion

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • black jesus

    the illuminati strikes again.

    • edmafia

      hell yeah, i agree with you black jesus

  • that nigga

    R.I.P Don. You will be missed.

  • H-rod — Bronx, NY

    I grew up with Soul Train From the start , Brother Don did us all proud !! He was a class act , And he will be missed Love Peace Soul brother Don !!

  • cheryl jossie

    He should have gotten on Facebook, cause he would have had lots of people to talk to. So sorry he let the devil steal his joy. God forgives us for everything except self……..


    RIP to a TRUE “DON” & MUSICAL ICON!!!!!

    MOGUL $$$ GAME ’12!!

  • Edna Beale

    His legacy will live forever. RIP Don.

  • Live1ne237

    Yeah this has Illuminati written all over it. They found him today and if you look at today’s date it’s a 23. The Iiluminati is supposedly big on numerology and 2 divided into 3 is .666. I know this all sounds far fetched but that Jim Carrey movie “23″ got me saying this. I know the majority of y’all thinking GTFOH but it might be some truth to all this crazy shit. I can’t completely dismiss it and rule it out because this whole situation sounds suspect to me. U gon kill yo self after u finalize your divorce? Really?

  • http://xxlmag mikey

    Somebody is gonna wait til they 75 to kill theyself? Yeah right. #Fishy

  • Sha

    What the f*ck is up with all of this lluminati crap? Are you dudes smokin’ something? I guess yall believe in X-Files stuff too, huh?

    Bottom line, Mr. Cornelius decided to end a life that he had suffered in for years. He successfully completed his divorce and payout to take care of his fam. He chose to end his life.

    To me, he chose the coward’s way, but I respect his decision.

    So please dudes….. Stop with all of the lluminati crap.

    And oh yeah…..

    Say what’s up to Big Foot for me….

  • foreal

    What’s up Bigfoot?!?

    • Sha


      Meaning…. If yall believe in lluminati, yall believe in Big Foot too. Catch up, dude.

  • foreal

    You misspelled Bigfoot twice. Catch up, dude.

  • pirate lbc

    for your information sha illuminati is very real all expressed by a man I knew personally tupac shakur. The illuminati is a branch of the free mansonry, masons live around us everyday so know your history even Martin Luther King was a mason. Masons are real so why do you do not believe in the illuminati. You must be the one to honor and help hide the works

    • Sha

      @pirate lbc……

      Opinions differ. This is a world with different people. Maybe you should learn to accept the fact that others have a different opinion. I accept the fact that some of yall are on some “X Files” sh*t. I can’t change that. So it is what it is.

  • Frank White

    Sick of this Sha nigga thinkin’ he’s God on here. Ok, we get u know a lil’ bit ’bout a lil’ bit, but so fkin wot?!
    If ur so intelligent, witty ‘n on point, y r u on here with the rest of us ‘losers’??!!
    Jog on, dogshit!

    • Sha

      @Frank White…..

      Thanks dude. I appreciate the feedback. Stay up!

  • Sha

    I’m on my “X Files” Sh*t!

  • Sha

    @ Everybody….Man didn’t actually land on the moon :O


    All of ya’ll need to check yourselves.
    A beautiful and influential person has past on today and all you guys can talk about is the illuminati.Some of ya’ll can’t even spell it or either you heard it in a Prodigy from Mobb Deep verse.Believe what you want to believe but this comment section should be used to say good bye to a legend.

    R.I.P Don Cornelius
    Saturdays have never been the same since Soul Train went off the air.

    • aaron


  • Pynch

    Is it true that he was diagnosed with Dementia and Brain Cancer? Recently completed a long divorce? And owed lots of people? Isi t just me that this sound just like TuPac and Biggie sending a warning that their day is next.

  • aaron

    what could have a 75yr old man so stressed that he would kill himself……So not believing this………rest easy my friend!…thank you for everything!!!!!!

  • savannah

    Don Cornelius was a man to be honored. He has accomplished a lot as a African American man. Some will mourn his death, Some may laugh, Some may cope with indenial. Some may just be realizing, there is a secret cult, called the illuminati. There are different titles that conspiracy can form. People need to really open up there eyes, and start looking at Entertainers, Some of our black leaders, and importantly. The first PRESIDENT!!!(not barack, but also he is a mason). That sworn in, on a MASONS BIBLE. There is more to be said, but Don Cornelius will be sadly missed.

  • Pingback: A$AP Rocky Shines at His First New York City Headlining Show | XXLMAG.COM

  • sgee

    I dont believe he shot his self…Everytime a celeberity makes a come back or is about to do something big…They mysteriously end up dead, they claim they had a drug over dose, or just naturalcauses…Don was gonna make a Soul Train movie soon..So sad…Illuminati sucks

  • Katelynn

    Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your website in internet explorer, would test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a large component of other people will miss your fantastic writing due to this problem.