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 XXLMag.com for more on this developing story. —Mariel Concepcion