CNN just released a statement that has stunned his fans at home and abroad. Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller, and writer who took CNN viewers around the world, has died. He was 61. CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning. “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. His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
Anthony Michael Bourdain was an American chef, author, and television personality. He was noted by popular sources as one of the most influential chefs in the world. Bourdain was a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of numerous professional kitchens, including many years as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. He first became known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. His first food and world-travel television show was A Cook’s Tour, which ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network from 2002 through 2003. In 2005 he began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, he switched to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honored Bourdain and “Parts Unknown” for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.”
“He’s irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious,” the judges said. “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.”
The Smithsonian once called him “the original rock star” of the culinary world, “the Elvis of bad boy chefs.”
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. In the book, he wrote candidly about his abuse of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and LSD.
First, he hosted “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network, then moved to “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” on the Travel Channel. “No Reservations” was a breakout hit, earning two Emmy Awards and more than a dozen nominations.
In 2013 both Bourdain and CNN took a risk by bringing him to the news network still best known for breaking news and headlines. Bourdain quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime-time schedule.
Season eleven of “Parts Unknown” premiered on CNN last month.
He was married twice, first to his high-school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski in 1985. They divorced after 20 years.
Two years later he married mixed martial artist Ottavia Busia and they had a daughter, Ariane, born in 2007. He blamed the split partly on his constant travel for work.
Last year he was romantically linked with Italian actress Asia Argento.
Bourdain’s death happened after fashion designer Kate Spade hanged herself in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan apartment on Tuesday. Spade was found hanged by a scarf she allegedly tied to a doorknob, an NYPD source said.
Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey Thursday 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%, the government report finds.
Ref. CNN, BBC, Wikipedia, MSN
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