Anthony Bourdain, Celebrity Chef, World Traveler, and LGBT Activist Dies at 61

‘A common thread of the people I admire – whoever they are, wherever they are – are people who are proud and do things with love, and feel a sense of responsibility to others’

Anthony Bourdain is a pioneer in the culinary travel world. The chef turned celebrity traveler became a household name thanks to his dry wit, adventurous spirit, and ability to connect with viewers on programs like Parts Unknown. Sadly, Bourdain apparently committed suicide in Paris last night at the age of 61.

Bourdain is a hero in the travel industry. Journeying to countries and far-flung locations that would make the average person cringe, but he showed us that no matter where we go, food unites all cultures.

The New Jersey native was also an activist for the LGBT community.  Bourdain took sides with the gay community after a cake shop refused to make a wedding cake. He signed a brief that argued that the baking of cakes is not protected under the first amendment.

He also was vocal in his anger toward anti-gay companies like Chic-fil-A:

Are we looking for nice people to run our companies? We’re going to be looking pretty hard. I’m not going to go eat at that restaurant or I’m not going to patronize that business because I don’t like what they institutionally support—I don’t like the chairman of the board, I don’t like who created the company, whatever. There’s a whole lot of reasons to just make a personal decision and not go eat at a business and give them your money. I come from a restaurant business where you’re lucky if the guy working next to you isn’t like an armed robber. I support your inalienable right to say really stupid, offensive shit and believe really stupid, offensive shit that I don’t agree with. I support that, and I might even eat your chicken sandwich.

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