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.

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