The 75-year-old Cornelius died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Los Angeles Times reports. A family member found him in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and took him to a hospital, but he was pronounced dead there.
“Soul Train” began as a local show in Chicago in 1970 and expanded into syndication the following year. It ran for 35 years, until 2006, featuring performances by soul, R&B and later hip-hop artists and dancers performing in the “Soul Train Line.”
Cornelius hosted the show through 1993 and remained its executive producer throughout its run, which ended in 2006. Cornelius told the L.A. Times in 2010 that he was developing a movie project based on the show.