CNN confirmed the death of the gifted storyteller and writer on Friday, saying the cause 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.”
At the time of his death, 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.”
According to CNN, 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 staff.
In 2013, Peabody Award judges honoured Bourdain and ‘Parts Unknown’ for ‘expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure’.
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 suicide rate in the United States has seen sharp increases in recent years. It’s now the 10th leading cause of death in the country, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.