Anthony Bourdain dead at 61

Well, now that everybody’s had 24 hours to process …

I liked Bourdain when he was on the Travel Channel, I never saw his CNN shows. I liked him because he wasn’t overly fond of The Man in a way that, as a peer age-wise, I can relate to. He had the good grace to spend his young working life among people who profoundly lacked the advantages he’d had as the son of NYC intellectuals, and he used that to become a regular guy. I liked and respected him for that.

But he had a daughter, aged 11, who will have to survive without her father to help her through the tragic, selfish death of her father. That’s a big black mark on Bourdain’s reputation.

In the end he went broke in my book. His leaving his daughter to fend for herself outweighs the Travel Channel shows and the respect I’d had for him then.

Sad death, and even sadder that in the end he managed to lose all my respect to boot. Feel sorry for his kid.


I don’t want to enter into another debate about suicide, but I no longer consider it to be a ‘decision’ as such. I view it as a crisis point in an illness and as such nobody is to blame.

As I say, I have no wish to debate it and nobody knows for sure.


It seems to be an illness where people left on their own can snap all of a sudden. Travelling so much wasn’t good for his mental health as he mentioned in recent interviews . Chris Cornell killed himself in a somewhat similar sudden fashion in a hotel.
Maybe there is something wrong with living in hotel rooms with no companions . Semi serious here. Then the lifestyle of drinking too much can get people down over time.

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I always saw it as people who jump to their deaths from windows in a burning building. Where the pain and hopelessness of the fire was worst or just as bad as jumping off and ending it. I’ve had to many young friends take their lives in their 20s. Sometimes signs show up in drugs and alcohol, isolation, depression, but other times…no one had any idea.


I also have no idea.

All I can say is I considered suicide to be selfish until a mate of mine hanged himself. His suicide note was all about not letting people who loved him know that he had taken his own life. He wanted it to be an accidental death.

It’s sad because after Chris cornell killed himself, Chester from Linkin Park also committed suicide on the birthday of Cornell the following months. We do know from evidence that suicides seem to happen in clusters.

I’ve had many friends who committed suicide, too. My best friend committed suicide in 1992, and it was very difficult. He had no wife or kids, but his life had become very hard. A very bad time.

This one, though. I just can’t get over that he would leave his 11-year old daughter to get through this on her own. To me it’s a clear case of suck it up, buttercup. Can’t get past his betrayal of a daughter at that age.

I really don’t think suicide works like that.


I don’t think it works like that, you wouldn’t say that to someone suffering from clinical depression or other mental illnesses. We don’t know what he was thinking and what his body and brain chemistry was doing. There could be a lot of things wrong in his brain like those athletes with CTE. We know so little about the brain even today, psychology is still relatively primitive compared to any other medical profession.

11 years old. Alone. My burden becomes her burden.

Nope, sorry, don’t buy it.

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I didn’t use to buy it. I still don’t get it.

Perhaps thinking about why someone would make such a decision may help you buy it. If it’s difficult to find a reason that may be part of the answer.

I was never a fan of Bourdain, but I wouldn’t presume to judge him. None of us can get inside his head and know what he was going though. I definitely commiserate with the people he left behind though, especially his young daughter. I feel bad about trashing him a few weeks ago on this forum, so I’m going to atone by binge watching his shows.

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Thanks anyway, I don’t need help “buying it.” I’m not seeking a way to understand or make peace with what’s happened. I’m afraid I have just lost all respect for the guy.

And yes, this is judgmental and I agree, who am I to forgive Anthony Bourdain, a fellow traveller.

Afraid that willfully abandoning 11-year old daughters to the whims of fate is not something I will ever buy.

I pity the daughter and his loved ones but I also sympathize with him. The whole thing is bound to stir up mixed feelings for everyone.

My close friend took his life a couple months ago. I always knew in my heart he was going to looking back. The guy was abandoned and abused by alcoholic parents and later adopted by his adopted father who who rape him and got his friends to rape and molest him as a kid. This followed by years fo struggles of alcohol and drug abuse and losing his brother in his arm who was his only caretaker. I can’t even say I blame him for taking drugs to get out himself. If anything the drugs made things better for him for a while before it spiral out of control and he ended up in rehab over and over again. I was so sad, angry and all these emotions flooded in. All I know is I think he is finally at peace. You just never know a persons pain they are holding inside. I think what he went through was too much for one person to go through.


I didn’t mean to be rude using the phrase “buy it”. It was a phrase used in your earlier post and I thought it was a normal expression for you.

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No problem. (And I didn’t think you were being rude.)

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Good article

People at the very edge of suicide often don’t have things under control mentally. They are not at that moment thinking straight.

Good read

In my early twenties I approached the edge of suicide - I was not mentally in a good place. Looking back at that phase, there is no way that my thought processes were rational or logical. All I wanted to do was to get out of ‘here’ (this reality). To just check-out and die.

So I think it’s unfair to cast Bourdain as having ‘wilfully abandonned’ his daughter. It might even have made sense to him, at the time he took his life. Unless you were there in his final hours, talking to him and hearing his own thoughts, there is no possible way you can judge the man.


Disagree. Life is often, very often, unfair. As a father it is simply unforgivably selfish to throw off a burden so heavy that you would rather die than bear it onto the thin shoulders of your eleven-year old, newly orphaned daughter.

The guy was rational enough to wait until everybody was away and to hang himself quietly (as far as we know). He quit on his daughter and he quit on himself. No sympathy from me.

Everything else is just excuses, sorry. Afraid that in this case I stand behind ‘suck it up, buttercup.’

Unfortunately it’s not uncommon for suicidal people to rationalize that people are better off without them alive. I can def empathize with feeling that way at some low points in my life. It’s hard to imagine the feeling if you’ve never felt that way where you think taking your life is the only way and I hope you don’t. I do however have to disagree with you on it being a issue on toughness as it might discourage people from seeking help. I can say that it is at least a choice to speak up and seek help however hard it might be.

Sad what happened all around. Regardless of how you feel. I do hope his death continues to bring more people to seek help. I think suicide rates are on the rise. And I’ve said it before, males make up predominantly the percentage of suicides.