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Although Cornelius had planned for a biographical film on the show’s conception, tragedy struck in 2008 with a bitter divorce battle between he and then wife Viktoria, a criminal case which landed him three years probation, and severe illness. Cornelius suffered a stroke, which led to brain surgery.

Don Cornelius’ life ended tragically on February 1, 2012 after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

His legacy lives on, however, through the syndication of previous episodes of Soul Train, and a recently released documentary featuring the creation of the long-time fan favorite television show and the lives of the Soul Train dancers.

(Photo: AP)

Little Known Black History Fact: Don Cornelius  was originally published on

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