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Anthony Bourdain Dead At 61


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By Brian Stelter

NEW YORK (CNN) -- 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 "Parts Unknown." His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

"Tony was an exceptional talent," CNN President Jeff Zucker said in an email to employees. "Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it."

Stunned reactions to his death from viewers, fellow chefs, celebrities and others swept through social media Friday morning. Author and humorist John Hodgman recalled eating with Bourdain some 14 years ago.

"He was big even then, but he took time to sit with me in Chinatown to talk 'weird' food for a magazine piece I was writing. He taught me that our 'weird' is the world's delicious," Hodgman wrote on Twitter. "We ate chicken feet. The afternoon vibrated with life. RIP."

"I am shocked and deeply saddened," chef and "Queer Eye" star Antoni Porowski wrote on Twitter. "RIP to a father, partner, chef, writer, and incredibly talented man. ... Prayers for his loved ones."

'The Elvis of bad boy chefs'

Bourdain was a master of his crafts -- first in the kitchen and then in the media. 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.

Along the way, he received practically every award the industry has to offer.

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."

The book set him on a path to international stardom.

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 11 of "Parts Unknown" premiered on CNN last month.

While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, 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," he said, "we tend to get some really astonishing answers."

Bourdain's death happened after 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 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.

--

How to get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

TM & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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This is a hard one to take, as many of us travelers consider him a sort of kindred spirit.  He'd been through a recent divorce after his wife cheated on him, and just a few days ago he discovered his

Be at peace...no more reservations... Personalities don't always get a lot of respect in my house as they are very fake. Tony however was always open and honest, admitting his mistakes and giving

I just got done watching a tribute show on CNN showcasing his many travels.  He was in the Philippines and even got a tattoo in the center of his chest at a remote mountain village.  I always tried to

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cookie47

Sad, thoughts go to his family.

I'm not a foodie, however i like his show for the places he went.

Unreported Darwin has the highest suicide in Australia.

They don't report it due to copycat events.

They call November the silly season.
The humidity goes off the rails and causes relationships to stress with the added risk of no job and not being able to provide funds for Christmas.


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Headshot

Anthony Bourdain had everything going for him, and he was at the top of his game professionally. However, he has had alcohol and drug problems for a long time. One has to wonder if drugs had anything to do with this, since he was ""found unresponsive" in his room.

RIP Tony. You will be missed.

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Richard K

This is sad. I really enjoyed his show's. His show's were always more than just about food.
RIP

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Dafey

Be at peace...no more reservations...

Personalities don't always get a lot of respect in my house as they are very fake. Tony however was always open and honest, admitting his mistakes and giving d=credit to those who deserved it. I liked him, his personality and his show. He made the world a little smaller by introducing us to culture through cuisine.

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Joe Sixpack

This is a hard one to take, as many of us travelers consider him a sort of kindred spirit.  He'd been through a recent divorce after his wife cheated on him, and just a few days ago he discovered his new GF was cheating on him.  I suspect the pain was just too much for him.  It's tough to redeem yourself in life, settle down, do all the right things.....and still deal with more failings, either perceived or real.  RIP, Tony.....you touched a lot of people's lives and will not be forgotten. 

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MarinePride

I just got done watching a tribute show on CNN showcasing his many travels.  He was in the Philippines and even got a tattoo in the center of his chest at a remote mountain village.  I always tried to catch his shows whenever and where ever I found myself.  Very baffling though, I guess money and fame aren't everything in life.

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billy
3 hours ago, MarinePride said:

I just got done watching a tribute show on CNN showcasing his many travels.  He was in the Philippines and even got a tattoo in the center of his chest at a remote mountain village.  I always tried to catch his shows whenever and where ever I found myself.  Very baffling though, I guess money and fame aren't everything in life.

he was great i always enjoyed watching him just a regular guy. we all know that money isn't everything. if your not happy to begin with money will not change that.

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PhilsFan

Last night I introduced my lady to Tony...by watching 2 of his Philippine shows..in both shows he never left Manila. How he managed to nail the strength and beauty of the filipino people in such a short time here speaks to his gift.

Tony was choking up at a family dinner and gave perhaps his most genuine smile I have ever seen on any of his episodes at an office party. Truely a compassionate man of the people.

 A great loss for all who yearn for travel and adventure. I will be raising a glass for him as we dine tonight with friends. We will miss you, Tony. RIP

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liquido
6 hours ago, Joe Sixpack said:

after his wife cheated on him, and just a few days ago he discovered his new GF was cheating on him

Wow, I didnt hear about that..probably due to all his traveling...I liked his earlier show called A Cooks Tour the best,thats when he was  smoking and let go with a few swear words...haha I kind of lost some faith in him when he said the pork in the Philippines was the best he has ever ate...

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RogerDat

He probably was at a high end restaurant. They used to have inch thick pork chops at Clark you could cut with a fork, and it was as tender as a burger. I think it came from a black and white pig raised to US standards by some expats at a place called Black Son Ranch.

My thinking is Tony got some bad drugs, and it was not his intention to off himself.

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Richard K

Does it matter why?..or how even?
This was a guy that brought me places and told me shit I would have never known or even known what questions to ask.. in a way that was so personal and "in the yurt" kinda shit... drinking and joking with people that HE made feel open and at home with him..
If there were anyone I would like to represent America.... it would have been this guy
he pretty much showed the best of us to the world as he traveled...
He would never think he was amazing... but he was

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Mandingo

A sad end for an very brilliant man. I loved his show and tried to watch when possible, actually about the only time I would watch CNN is when he was on. I cannot fathom what kind of pain made him do what he did......RIP. 

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