Don Cornelius, creator of Soul Train, was found dead in his home this morning. TMZ is reporting that his death is believed to be a suicide. The Los Angeles Times is confirming reports of Cornelius' suicide, as their sources say Cornelius had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and though there is no sign of foul play, the Los Angeles Police Department was still investigating the case. The AP is reporting that a coroner says Cornelius was pronounced dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The Twitterverse and the Internet have already voiced their condolences for Cornelius, a man who left an indelible stamp on music and television. As the New York Times' obituary to Cornelius points out,"Soul Train was one of the longest running syndicated shows in television history and played a critical role in spreading the music of black America to the world, offering wide exposure to musicians such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson in the 1970s and 1980s." They include this apt quote from Quincy Jones:
“I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius,” said Quincy Jones, according to the Associated Press. “Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was ’Soul Train,’ that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”