Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain Found Dead at 61
Anthony Bourdain, the celebrated chef, author and television host who spent nearly 20 years illuminating cuisine and culture from the corners of the world, was found dead Friday in his hotel room in France. He had been shooting an upcoming episode of his CNN series “Parts Unknown.”
Eric Ripert, an award-winning French chef and Bourdain’s close friend, found him unresponsive on Friday morning. The network confirmed the cause of death as suicide. “Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it,” wrote CNN president Jeff Zucker in an email to employees.
Bourdain’s success as a global food icon can be attributed in part to his fierce loyalty to his own standards. “I’m willing to accept less of an audience or maybe no audience rather than suck,” he told Entrepreneur in 2016. He was known to walk away from potentially exploitative situations and say no when people asked him to do something derivative. Bourdain also believed that people shouldn’t fake it or play it safe -- instead, he championed creativity and authenticity. And he loved his job. “I have the best job in the world,” he told The New Yorker in 2017. “If I’m unhappy, it’s a failure of imagination.”
News of Bourdain’s death comes just three days after fashion designer Kate Spade reportedly took her own life in New York -- and on the heels of a rise in suicide rates across the U.S. in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Suicide is a significant public health issue, and it’s important to discuss it openly and honestly and stay informed about warning signs, which are listed here. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK or visiting SuicidePreventionLifeline.org, and you can reach the Crisis Text Line -- a free, 24/7 text message support service -- by texting 741-741.