Black History-Maker and Soul Train Legend “DON CORNELIUS” dead of an apparent suicide
At the dawn of Black History month 2012, the news of an American legend makes history once again. The party train conductor and afro wearing coolest dude on Saturday television in the 70’s was found dead at his home in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Chicago native, Don Cornelius created an epic television show that took the African-American music scene by storm in the late 1960’s. An innovative creative-thinker, Cornelius wrote and produced Soul Train, a platform for recording artist and dancers to showcase their talent on national television. He began his career as a journalist during the civil rights movement, and parlayed his love for music and entertainment to inspire a generation of musical talent to seize the pulse during that time. Music was how black America coped with the onslaught of racial tension and opposition to humane and fair treatment of the race.
As the founder and creator of the Soul Train Music Awards, Cornelius wanted to show his appreciation to the artist and talent who helped to pave the way for the new generation. The ailing Cornelius’s last appearance on the popular BET Music Award Show was in 2009. He seemed frail and fragile during his presentation of the life-time achievement award to the Legendary O’Jays. It was then that fans began to be concern about his health and well-being.
In 2008, apparently he was arrested for physically abusing his wife Victoria Avila-Cornelius, and in 2009 was sentenced to 36 months’ probation and ordered to stay away from his estranged wife. Their divorce was made final in 2010, after Cornelius pleaded to the courts to not prolong it due to his health issues.
During Black History month 2012, Fe’SAAD Magazine salutes you Don Cornelius for all your contributions to Black Culture…Rest in Peace 1936-2012!
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