Anthony Bourdain has died of an apparent suicide. CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death today,
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.“
Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series and his close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found him unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalized populations and campaigned for safer working conditions for restaurant staffs.
In 1999 he wrote a New Yorker article, Don’t Eat Before Reading This, that became a best-selling book in 2000, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, the book made him international food star.
He hosted A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network, then Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel which was a big hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
In 2013, Bourdain on CNN became one principals of its prime time schedule. (Season eleven of Parts Unknown just premiered last month.) That same year Bourdain won a Peabody award for the show and the judges said,
“He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious. People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.“
Accepting the Peabody award, Bourdain described how he approached his work.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers.“
Bourdain’s death occurred the same week fashion designer Kate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday.
Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. The CDC published a survey yesterday showing suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%.
If you need to speak to someone the TrevorLifeline is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386
(Photo, CNN; via CNN)