Don Cornelius Spoke to Son Minutes Before Suicide

Autopsy report reveals conversation the late Soul Train founder had with his son.

Posted: 04/24/2012 04:14 PM EDT

In the final minutes of his life, Don Cornelius placed a call to his son, Tony Cornelius, just before he fatally shot himself in February, according to a newly released autopsy report. The Soul Train founder, who was in a great deal of pain due to health problems, reportedly told Tony, "I don't know how long I can take this." 

The report, which was obtained by TMZ, revealed that Cornelius had been suffering seizures that doctors believed stemmed from an aneurysm he had several years ago. In the last six months of his life, the pain worsened.

The entrepreneur and social activist called his son at 3:00 a.m. to make known the pain he was experiencing. Tony informed his father that he’d rush right over, but when he got to his dad’s L.A. home, it was too late. Upon entering the house, Tony could smell smoke in the air and found Cornelius sitting in a chair with a gun in his right hand. The 75-year-old pop culture icon had shot himself in the temple.

Paramedics treated Cornelius's wound, but he was pronounced dead not long after being transported to a nearby hospital.

 

In the days following the suicide, Tony had previously discussed his father’s “uncomfortable” physical state with Gayle King on CBS This Morning.

 

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