Sadness grips me as I trace these lines. For the second time in a week, the world of fashion and television has been struck by the tragedy of a self-inflicted death.
Earlier this week, Kate Spade—fashion designer, businesswoman, and founder of Kate Spade New York—was found dead in her Manhattan apartment by her housekeeper, hanged by her own hand. Her surviving husband, Andy Spade, reported that she had long suffered from depression and anxiety (1), despite her abundant fame, wealth, and success. But most of those who knew Kate insist they are in total shock by this turn of events. One of her business partners reports that when Kate had heard of a celebrity’s suicide on one occasion, she stated several times that she “would never do that” (2).
Then, not long after, the news broke that Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN’s weekly program “Parts Unknown,” was found dead in France by his friend, French chef Eric Ripert (2). Both Bourdain and Ripert were at work filming an upcoming episode of “Parts Unknown” (3). So far, neither the means nor the cause of Bourdain’s suicide has been reported.
I confess to being a big fan of Bourdain’s show, as many of my close friends know. For those who aren’t aware, “Parts Unknown” depicts its host traveling to various parts of the world, many of them exotic and obscure—sampling local cuisine, meeting the local people, and exploring local issues. Though Bourdain’s culinary tastes were hardly those of a faithful Adventist health reformer, often to the point of amusement (I’ll always remember the monkey stew he ate on a train trip through Madagascar!), I always enjoyed his adventurous spirit and evident compassion for the striving yet downtrodden people of the world.