Don Cornelius, the silky host of Soul Train, died early this morning at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. of a gunshot wound to the head. Police are still investigating but sources at the scene said there are no signs of foul play and that preliminary indications point to suicide.
Cornelius, 75, had suffered from a variety of health issues in recent years including a stroke.
He created and hosted the syndicated Soul Train, a popular and influential celebration of African American music and style in 1971. He presided as the show’s cooler-than-ice host until 1993. (The weekly show continued in production until 2006.)
Here’s a taste of the maestro near the beginning of his extraordinary run.