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Don Cornelius death confirmed as suicide

This March 6, 2006, file photo shows former host of the television show 'Soul Train,' Don Cornelius at his office in Los Angeles. (Damian Dovarganes)

February 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles Coroner's Office confirmed Tuesday that "Soul Train" founder and host Don Cornelius died of a suicide.

As expected, the autopsy shows Cornelius's death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The television pioneer was found dead in his Studio City home last week.

He was 75.

Read comments from music producers and performers on the death of "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius.

"Soul Train" began in 1970 in Chicago on WCIU-TV as a local program and aired nationally from 1971 to 2006. Cornelius created, produced and hosted the show.

He was a trailblazer who changed the music industry for African-American performers. With his deep voice, he helped bring the best R&B, soul and later hip-hop acts to TV. The show introduced TV audiences to such legendary African-American artists as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Barry White.

Cornelius stepped down as host in 1993, though "Soul Train" stayed on the air through 2006. He was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.