Chef, author and Emmy-winning host gone too soon

By Bryan Ramos

T

he world just lost another bright light, the second this week.

Days after fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead due to suicide, Anthony Bourdain, the chef, author and Emmy-winning television host was found dead in his hotel room Friday morning after committing suicide by hanging.

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.

Bourdain used his ability to relate to humans through food and conversation to become one of television’s great hosts, breaking into living rooms across America.

His first job in a kitchen was as a dishwasher at 13 years old in New Jersey, the start of Bourdain’s career which produced the book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,” published in 2000 and translated into more than two dozen languages, a travel journal, three crime novels, a cookbook, a biography of Typhoid Mary and a graphic novel. His shows took him to more than 100 countries and three networks.

Bourdain’s colleagues and contemporaries took to Twitter to express their feelings on the heart-breaking loss.

The suicide rate in the United States has seen sharp increases in recent years. It is now the 10th leading cause of death in the country, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Studies have shown that the risk of suicide declines sharply when people call the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-TALK

There is also a crisis text line.

The lines are staffed by a mix of paid professionals and unpaid volunteers trained in crisis and suicide intervention. The confidential environment, the 24-hour accessibility, a caller’s ability to hang up at any time and the person-centered care have helped its success, advocates say.

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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