Thomas was among the family, friends and fans who came together at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, at 360 N. State, for a public memorial for Don Cornelius. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and radio legend Herb Kent were also in attendance.
Cornelius, 75, died last week of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his upper torso at his Mulholland Drive home, according to Los Angeles police.
Many of those gathered said Cornelius didn't just entertain. He changed lives.
"I like seeing people on TV that look like myself, so therefore it did a lot for me. It raised my self-esteem and let me know that it was OK to have hair like I had," said Denise Allums.
Cornelius grew up in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood and graduated from DuSable High School.