Don Cornelius, ‘Soul Train’ Creator, Dead Of Gunshot Wound

Los Angeles Police Department say Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train, has died of a gunshot wound.

A spokesperson for the department said Cornelius was found at at his home and transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Cornelius was 75.

The Los Angeles Times, the AP and TMZ are reporting the gunshot wound was self inflicted.

LAPD says that police were called to Cornelius’ home at about 4 a.m., but they have not determined whether this was a suicide.

The AP adds a bit on Soul Train:

“Soul Train” began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006.

It introduced television audiences to such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White and brought the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV and had teenagers dance to them. It was one of the first shows to showcase African-Americans prominently, although the dance group was racially mixed. Cornelius was the first host and executive producer.

“There was not programming that targeted any particular ethnicity,” he said in 2006, then added: “I’m trying to use euphemisms here, trying to avoid saying there was no television for black folks, which they knew was for them.”

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