Anthony Bourdain has died by suicide at 61 — take a look back at his incredible career from dishwasher to celebrity chef

  • Anthony Bourdain, the award-winning television host, chef, and author, was found dead in his hotel room in France on Friday. CNN, his employer, confirmed that the cause of death was suicide.
  • He was 61. He leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, and a longtime girlfriend, Asia Argento.
  • In his lifetime, Bourdain wrote more than a dozen books, hosted several award-winning television shows, and was the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles.

Anthony Bourdain has died at 61. His employer, CNN, confirmed on Friday that the cause of death was suicide by hanging.

Bourdain was a celebrity chef, an author, the host of CNN’s travel show “Parts Unknown,” and the winner of four Emmys and a Peabody Award. He often spoke about his earlier struggles with drug use and his rocky path to stardom.

Take a look back at Bourdain’s life and career.


Anthony Michael Bourdain was born in 1956 in New York. His father was a classical music executive with Columbia Records, and his mother was a New York Times copy editor.

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Bourdain on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2001.
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The Oprah Winfrey Show/Oprah Winfrey Network

Source: Business Insider


He fell in love with food during childhood visits to France, where his paternal grandparents lived.

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Bourdain in Marseille, France, for “Parts Unknown” in 2015.
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Parts Unknown/CNN

Source: Business Insider


His first restaurant job came in his teens, as a dishwasher. “Dishes had to go in the washer and come out taintless, and doing this swiftly and competently meant I was acknowledged as a human being by colleagues I wanted to be like,” he told The Guardian last year. “The day they promoted me to dunking fries I was overjoyed.”

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Bourdain posted this photo of what remains of one of his first restaurant employers in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
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Anthony Bourdain/Facebook

Source: The Guardian


After graduating high school in 1973, Bourdain went to Vassar for two years, then dropped out.

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Bourdain at New York’s iconic hot dog eatery Papaya Dog.
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Netflix

Source: The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey)


However, he kept his college job in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His early 20s in Provincetown is where he first encountered heroin; he struggled with drug addiction as a young adult.

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Bourdain in Provincetown.
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Provincetown Film Society & Festival/Facebook

Source: Business Insider , CNN


Bourdain described himself in his 20s as “a complete asshole” in a Reddit AMA. “Selfish, larcenous, druggy, loud, stupid, insensitive and someone you would not want to have known,” he wrote. “I would have robbed your medicine cabinet had I been invited to your house.”

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Bourdain in 2016.
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Mike Coppola / Staff / Getty Images

Source: Reddit


By 1978, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.

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Bourdain in 2009 at the Culinary Institute of America.
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The Culinary Institute of America/Facebook

Source: Business Insider


Bourdain took a chef job after graduation from the institute, something he said later was a mistake. “Taking a low-level position at a great restaurant and putting my nose to the grindstone” would have been smarter, he told Newsweek in 2011.

Source: Newsweek


He spent his 20s, 30s, and 40s holding various restaurant jobs in Manhattan. By 1998, at age 42, he was the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles.

Source: Business Insider


He married Nancy Putkoski, his high-school sweetheart, in 1985. They stayed married until 2005.

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Bourdain in 2005.
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Netflix/No Reservations

Source: The Sun


In 2000, at 44, Bourdain became a star after his nonfiction book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” became a best-seller. It was an outgrowth of an immensely popular article he wrote for The New Yorker in 1999.

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Bourdain discusses his book with WGBH, a PBS member station in Boston, in 2000.
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WGBH-TV/YouTube

Source: Business Insider


“At age 44, I had never had health insurance,” Bourdain said in 2011 of his younger self. “I hadn’t paid my rent on time. I was 10 years behind on my taxes. I owed AmEx for 10 years. I was still living like a college kid — worse even. I essentially partied my way out of a big-league career.”

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Bourdain in 2005.
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Bourdain in 2005.

Source: Newsweek


The book was adapted to a short-lived sitcom, as well as a joint book deal and Food Network show, both called “A Cook’s Tour.”

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Bourdain in Brazil in 2014 for “Parts Unknown.”
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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown/Facebook

Source: Business Insider


His television stardom continued to expand. His series include the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” (2005-2012) and “The Layover” (2011-13), as well as “Parts Unknown” (2013-18).

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Bourdain in Hanoi, Vietnam, for “Parts Unknown.”
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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown/Facebook

Source: Business Insider


His television work won him four Emmys and a Peabody Award in 2013.

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Bourdain and his Emmy for an outstanding informational series or special.
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Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


He was also a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and ABC’s “The Taste.”

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Bourdain on “Top Chef” in 2014.
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Top Chef/Bravo

Source: Business Insider


He married Ottavia Busia, a former MMA fighter, in 2007. His daughter, Ariane, was born the same year.

Source: Business Insider


“It’s such an understatement to say that having a kid changes your life,” Bourdain told Business Insider’s Rich Feloni in 2016. “You’re just no longer the first person you think about or care about. You’re not the most important person in the room. It’s not your film. The music doesn’t play for you — it’s all about the girl. And that changes everything.”

Source: Business Insider


Bourdain and Busia split in 2016. He then began dating the Italian actress Asia Argento.

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Bourdain and Argento in 2017.
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Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Source: The Sun


Since “Kitchen Confidential,” Bourdain published 11 additional books, including three novels, two graphic novels, and a biography of Typhoid Mary.

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Bourdain signs his graphic novel “Get Jiro!” in 2012.
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Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


“I work really hard to not ever think about my place in the world,” Bourdain told Business Insider in 2016. “I’m aware of my good fortune. I’m very aware of it, and I’m very aware that because of it, people offer me things, opportunities to do extraordinary things.”

Source: Business Insider


“I’m still here — on my third life, or maybe fourth,” Bourdain said in 2016 of his rapid ascent to celebrity. “Who knows? I should’ve died in my 20s. I became successful in my 40s. I became a dad in my 50s. I feel like I’ve stolen a car — a really nice car — and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights. But there’s been nothing yet.”

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Bourdain in “Parts Unknown.”
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Facebook/Parts Unknown CNN

Source: Biography


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Anthony Bourdain called girlfriend Asia Argento his ‘shelter from the storm’ months before his death

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