This news is sad and the story behind it even sadder: Soul Train creator Don Cornelius died of an apparent suicide, and the worst news is his son found him and called 911. Mr. Cornelius presided over Soul Train, which is the longest running dance program of its kind, lasting from 1971 to 1993, and then in syndication to March 2006.

Soul Train was a central part of this blogger’s childhood; watching it and American Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark, was the way I learned to dance, but also was presented with how American Pop Culture worked. It was via Soul Train that, especially in the 70s, we saw the first changes toward the diverse society we see today. I remember when Soul Train had its first prominent white female dancer, where you were hard pressed to see a black equivalent on American Bandstand. I think Soul Train pushed American Bandstand to be more reflective of the changing America, because the programs came on at the same time on Saturday afternoon during the 70s.

Later in life, Don Cornelius seemed to fall into a relationship such that he was abusive; his three years probation for domestic violence ended in 2010, and there are reports that his ex-wife also used pepper spray against him. Sadly, Cornelius said that he wanted to “Die alone” according to TMZ, and wanted to see his divorce through before he passed on. Don suffered from health problems during the last three-decades of his life.

But away from the personal, Cornelius was a genius and his contribution to American culture – Soul Train and its impact – will be remembered and evident perhaps forever.

By Zennie Abraham

Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of zennie62blog.com and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.