Soul Train Creator Don Cornelius Dead at 75

Don Cornelius, the man behind the legendary television musical variety show Soul Train, has died. Reports say the 75-year-old was found early this morning in his home in Sherman Oaks, California, the victim of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Foul play is not suspected but a police investigation continues.

Born in 1936 in Chicago, Cornelius created Soul Train in the early 1970s to serve as virtually the only outlet for soul music in America. A show born from its founder’s roots in the civil rights movement, from 1971-2006 Soul Train showcased some of the world’s biggest musical acts, from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin to rap acts like Public Enemy.

Cornelius hosted the show from its inception until 1993, when he stepped down and mainly focused on other aspects of production.

-Mike Crisolago