Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Don Cornelius
Original name: Donald Cortez Cornelius
Birth: Sep. 27, 1936
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Feb. 1, 2012
Sherman Oaks
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Television Personality. Fondly remembered as the robust-voiced host and creator of the popular dance-oriented program "Soul Train". Cornelius was born in Chicago. After graduating from DuSable High School in 1954, he joined the US Marine Corps and was stationed in Korea for 18 months. He worked as a car and insurance salesman until the mid-1960s. Encouraged by compliments about his smooth baritone voice, he attended broadcasting school and entered show business as a part-time disc jockey at Chicago's WVON Radio. He then moved onto TV and made a name for himself as host of the program "A Black's View of the News" with WCIU in 1968. Inspired by Dick Clark and "American Bandstand", Cornelius envisioned a similar format geared for the black youths of America that displayed the top contemporary artists. With funding from his own pocket, his notion became a reality when "Soul Train" made its debut on August 17th, 1970. The following year major American markets that included Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Detroit picked up the series broadening its viewership. Among the personalities that frequented included Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Al Green and Aretha Franklin, in addition to David Bowie and Elton John. Cornelius served as host from 1971 until 1993 always closing out the episode with his phrase "We wish you love, peace and soul". In 2006, the final episode of "Soul Train" was filmed. Many giants in the music and television industry have acknowledged the significance and impact the series has had on the African American culture. In his last years Cornelius dealt with personal issues and serious health ailments. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (bio by: C.S.) 
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Dear Jayne
Record added: Feb 01, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84308646
Don Cornelius
Added by: Anonymous
Don Cornelius
Added by: katzizkidz
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

 Added: Oct. 17, 2017
Happy Belated Heavenly Birthday to a wonderful TV host of "Soul Train". RIP dear Don....always.....
- Rosie
 Added: Sep. 29, 2017

- Bunny
 Added: Sep. 27, 2017
There are 538 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.3 after 250 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service