Tony Cornelius Recounts Final Phone Call with Father

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A few hours before Don Cornelius committed suicide, he talked to his son.

So said Tony Cornelius himself today in an interview on CBS, telling Gayle King that his famous father - who founded Soul Train in 1970 and ended his life via a gun shot to the head - called him just hours before pulling the trigger. Tony described the chat as a "call of urgency."

Don Cornelius Picture

He was "unhappy about some things" in life, Tony added, expounding: "You have to be in a person's shoes really to understand. Obviously, me being extremely close to him, I could tell that he was uncomfortable."

Still, Tony says no one in the family had any idea that Don's state had grown so dire, nor that he would take this extreme, final step.

In a strange twist, the music icon's suicide will likely lead to a major payout to his ex-wife, due to Don's life insurance policies, despite a bitter divorce between the two in 2009.


So sorry to hear about your dad,may he find rest in peace Tony we met some time ago when you lived in Chicago.


I pray for all that is suffering from depression!I think that suicide is a selfish act because you may leave behind a host of people that Love You!You killing yourself may cause them to be in a state of depression!When does it stop!?God is the answer!Don't keep all your feeling in,talk to your family and friends!So they can embrace you with Love!Rip D.C.


J.Torrey i feel your pain. depression is a horrible thing. so many people never take the time to actually look into someone's eyes to make a true connection. just know you are not alone. every day be sure to wake up, shower, and GET OUT! staying home alone and isolated is the worst thing you can do. i do understand though when you say being positive is what people expect.. depression appears to others as a sign of weakness. frankly, i know several people that suffer from depression, and i would prefer to work with them than all the arrogant people who think their shit don't stink! stay strong, friend.


@JTorrey..... Do you take medication? I am very sorry you feel you suffer in silence. Depression is difficult.


My heart aches for his family,i too suffer from depression and i can say honestly that friends and family members have no ideal how much we suffer and struggle with just going on from day to day,SOMETIMES FROM HOUR TO HOUR.I put on a strong front because that's what everybody expects,when for real i just want to stop the pain,mentally and physical pain that they don't even know i go through.I think that if they knew,half of them won't believe me and the other half don't care!R.I.P.DON C.

T jones

I guess if those who were closest to him didn't see it coming, the brother was definitely doomed!


black man dies by gun fire? OMG, didn't see that one coming. NOT!