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CNN's Anthony Bourdain dead at 61 from suicide

Anthony Bourdain, a gifted storyteller and writer who took CNN viewers around the world, has died. He was 61. CNN confirmed Bourdain's death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.

CNN's Brian Stelter announced on-air Friday that Bourdain hanged himself.

"Anthony was found dead this morning in his hotel room in France. He had hung himself, in his hotel room," Stelter said.

The outspoken chef was reportedly found unresponsive by close friend and French chef Eric Ripert. The network said he was working on an upcoming episode of his show "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown."

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN said in a statement. "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."

The news of Bourdain's death comes after fashion designer Kate Spade died Tuesday after hanging herself in her New York City apartment. The 61-year-old's death follows an alarming string of celebrity hanging suicide deaths in recent years.

Born in New York City, Bourdain grew up in suburban New Jersey but resented his normal life.

"I deeply resented the relative stability at my house. I started taking drugs as soon as I encountered them," the chef told The Guardian in 2013.

Bourdain dropped out of Vassar College after two years to pursue a career in the culinary world. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978 and from there, went on to work in various restaurant kitchens including One Fifth Avenue and Sullivan's.

His big break came when he was appointed when he was appointed executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in 1998. A year later, Bourdain's celebrity grew when the New Yorker published his now-famous "Don't Eat Before Reading This," an article which exposed the inner workings of restaurant kitchens.

Capitalizing on the interest in his expose, Bourdain released the non-fiction bestseller "Kitchen Confidential" in 2000 which made him a household name. His other books include the novels "Bone in the Throat" and "A Cook’s Tour."

He is survived by his daughter Ariane.

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