Don Cornelius, creator of the long-running TV dance show "Soul Train," is dead at 75 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police responding to a report of a shooting found Cornelius at his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home around 4 a.m. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to the coroner's office.
Us Weekly reports that when Cornelius was in court in 2009 for divorce proceedings, he complained of "significant health issues."
"Soul Train" began in 1970 in Chicago and aired in syndication from 1971 to March 2006, featuring primarily African-American musicians. It 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. As the smooth-talking host with a deep voice, Cornelius gave to hip young kids of the '70s what 'American Bandstand' creator Dick Clark offered to viewers in the early days of rock 'n' roll.