Fast Facts

  • Worked as an insurance salesman before turning to jobs in television and radio.
  • Was a news announcer at WCIU in Chicago in the 1960s when he started hosting dance parties around the city and had the idea to create Soul Train.
  • Hosted Soul Train from 1971 to 1993, when a series of guest hosts took over.
  • Created the Soul Train Music Awards in 1987.


  • Victoria — Ex-wife
  • Raymond Cornelius — Son
  • Anthony Cornelius — Son
  • Delores Harrison — Ex-wife

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  • Birth Name: Donald Cortez Cornelius
  • Birth Place: Chicago, IL
  • Birthday: September 27, 1936, Libra
  • Died: February 1, 2012
  • Profession: Host, Producer

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