Coroner officially rules death of 'Soul Train' creator a suicide.
By Gil Kaufman
The Los Angeles coroner's office ruled on Tuesday that former "Soul Train" host and creator Don Cornelius died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Cornelius, 75, was found shot at his Mulholland Drive home last Wednesday (February 1) morning by his son.
According to the Associated Press, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office made the suicide determination after conducting an autopsy on Cornelius' body on Friday. A final report will be issued pending the results of toxicology tests, which could take several weeks. After responding to a call from Cornelius' son, police were quickly able to rule out foul play in the host's death.
A former radio disc jockey, Cornelius created, wrote and produced "Soul Train," a popular dance/music show which spotlighted soul, R&B, and later, rap music. "Soul Train" was patterned after Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," but it helped to shine a light on black artists who many times didn't get the recognition they deserved. James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson all appeared on the show as well as more contemporary artists like Chris Brown, Alicia Keys and Ludacris.
Friends and fans celebrated Cornelius' life in Harlem on Saturday, as well as on Broadway, where a flash mob descended on Times Square to dance.
Last week, son Tony Cornelius released a statement asking for fans to respect the family's privacy. "We thank all the well-wishers and the fans who have supported the `Soul Train' legacy. Love, Peace and Soul," he said in the statement that included his dad's legendary sign-off from the show.Related Videos