In death, as in life, Anthony Bourdain brought us closer together.
Bourdain died Friday at 61.
He was in France working on an episode of his CNN series, “Parts Unknown,” when a friend found him unresponsive in his hotel room. The cause of death was suicide.
As the nation mourned the celebrated chef-turned-TV host, fans taped tributes on the door and walls of the shuttered French brasserie, where Bourdain was a chef in the 1990s. They placed printouts of his pictures outside, along with messages and the hotline for a suicide prevention network.
“Thank you for what you gave to this world, a deeper understanding of culture and food,” one note said. “You have changed our lives forever. Love you forever.”
Others said he changed the way some of the most marginalized countries are viewed.
“Thank you for bringing a respectful view to the people of Palestine, Libya, Iran and more. You brought people together,” another note said.
On his award-winning series, “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain brought the world home to CNN viewers. Through the simple act of sharing meals, he showcased both the extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines, yet how much we all have in common.
Before he got into television, he was a chef at the New York restaurant. While there, he wrote an essay on the behind the scenes of the restaurant world, which led to the memoir “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,” turning him into a celebrity chef.
Bourdain was a larger-than-life figure – a gifted chef and storyteller who used his books and shows to explore culture, cuisine and the human condition.
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 country 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: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.
CNN’s Brian Stelter contributed to this report.