Don Cornelius
Birth Date:
September 27, 1936
Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Soul Train


“... and you can bet your last money, it’s gonna be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!” The catchword that Cornelius used to close “Soul Train”

An American television producer, Don Cornelius, known for his rather deep voice, is well-remembered for his role as the host, between 1971 and 1994, of the syndicated television program “Soul Train,” which he still produces through Don Cornelius Productions, his production company. For his significant contribution to popularize numerous black Americans through the show, Cornelius was honored with a Star on the Walk of Fame on February 27, 1997.

As an actor, Cornelius has had roles in movies Fred Williamson’s No Way Back (1976), Alan Rudolph’s musical Roadie (1980) and the John Cusack-Tim Robbins vehicle Tapeheads (1988).

Father of 2

Childhood and Family:

In Chicago, Illinois, Don Cornelius was born on September 27, 1936. He has been married twice. He first married Delores Harrison and has two children with her, including one the line producer of “Soul Train” and former husband of actress Amy Hunter, Tony Cornelius. He is now married to Victoria.

From Cop to Celebrity


Chicago native Don Cornelius was a police officer when he was spotted by WVON Radio personality ED Cobb. In the mid-1960s, while driving ran a traffic violation, Cobb was pulled over by Cornelius. It was while the officer was asking him the typical traffic stop questions that Cobb recognized Cornelius’s distinctive tone. He then encouraged Cornelius to come down to the radio station and make a demo tape. Soon thereafter, Cornelius began his career in showbiz as an announcer.

As a TV personality, Cornelius received his big breakthrough when he started and hosted his show, “Soul Train,” on October 2, 1971. Now in its 35th year, the pop music dance show with an African-American focus becomes the longest-running first-run syndicated series in the history of television. As for Cornelius, during his tenure as the host of “Soul Train” (1971-1994), a program in which he also created and still produces through his production company, Don Cornelius Productions, he has helped to introduce a number of African-American musical artists to a wider audience as a result of their performances on the show.

Cornelius also tried his and in acting. He got his first taste in front of the movie camera in 1976 when he was cast in a supporting role in writer-director Fred Williamson’s action No Way Back, starring Williamson and Charles Woolf. Four years later, he supported Meat Loaf and Kaki Hunter in the comedy/musical Roadie, helmed by Alan Rudolph. His last film is the 1988 comedy Tapeheads, which starred John Cusack and Tim Robbins. There, he played the small role of Mo Fuzz.


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Don Cornelius -- who famously created "Soul Train" was found dead in his Sherman Oaks, CA ...
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