Why would Don Cornelius commit suicide at this age, 75?What could have made such a man so despondent that he felt he had to take his own life. It is sad when someone dies but sadder when that life was taken at their own hands. It leaves more answers than questions.
Back in the day Don Cornelius was a man at the centre of the world of Black culture and Black musicians whom he has helped developed through the vehicle of Soul Train, launched in Chicago, which featured hit songs and helped us to develop a love relationship with the musicians he featured that endure to this day in our hearts e.g. Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knights, James Brown etc. Soul Train was the showcase that musicians wanted to get on because it was a boost to their careers. Anyone who was anyone was featured on the highly popular show.
Don Cornelius developed his brainchild while working as a journalist and DJ in Chicago. Soul Train started in 1970 as a daily after-school dance show on WCIU and it was supported by such local acts as Curtis Mayfield and The Chi-Lites. The show was sponsored by Johnson Products, makers of Afro Sheen, and with owner George Johnson‘s help, Cornelius was able to move production to Los Angeles for the weekly syndicated show that premiered in 1971. Stations skeptical of the unproven series were won over when Gladys Knight agreed to do the pilot. Other artists were quick to jump on board.