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Anthony Bourdain’s mother passes away at the age of 85

Anthony Bourdain’s mother Gladys Bourdain who helped him publish tell-all article about the restaurant world and kicked off his career, dies at the age of 85

  • Gladys Bourdain, the longtime copy editor at the New York Times and mother to star chef Anthony Bourdain, died on Friday at the age of 85
  • She passed away at a hospice facility in the Bronx after suffering from declining health for some time, her son Christopher said 
  • Gladys Bourdain joined the New York Times in 1984 and worked there for over two decades, ending her career in 2008 
  • She is survived by her son Christopher and three grandchildren 
  • She kicked off her son Anthony Bourdain’s career by helping get his tell-all restaurant industry article published in the New Yorker in 1999
  • That article led to a wildly successful book deal and launched his TV career  

Gladys Bourdain, the longtime copy editor at the New York Times and mother to star chef Anthony Bourdain, died on Friday at the age of 85.

She passed away at a hospice facility in the Bronx after suffering from declining health for some time, her son Christopher said.

Gladys Bourdain join the New York Times in 1984 and worked there for over two decades, ending her career in 2008. She also wrote for outlets including Opera News, Musical America and The Times.

She is survived by her son Christopher and three grandchildren.   

Gladys Bourdain, the longtime copy editor at the New York Times and mother to star chef Anthony Bourdain, died on Friday at the age of 85

She passed away at a hospice facility in the Bronx after suffering from declining health for some time, her son Christopher said. She was a mother to two sons - Anthony and Christopher

She passed away at a hospice facility in the Bronx after suffering from declining health for some time, her son Christopher said. She was a mother to two sons – Anthony and Christopher

Gladys was born in Manhattan on October 19, 1934. Her father Milton Sacksman operated a small trucking company and her mother Martha was a homemaker.

She was raised in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx and attended what is now Lehman college. In her journalism career she worked for TV Guide, The Record of Bergen County, NJ, and Agence France-Presse before joining the Times.

She kicked off her son Anthony Bourdain's career by helping get his tell-all restaurant industry article published in the New Yorker in 1999, which turned into a book deal for Kitchen Confidential

She kicked off her son Anthony Bourdain’s career by helping get his tell-all restaurant industry article published in the New Yorker in 1999, which turned into a book deal for Kitchen Confidential 

In 1978 she profiled Julia Child for the Times and visited the renowned chef’s home in Southern France.

Gladys married Pierre Bourdain in 1954. They separated in 1980 and he passed away from a heart attack in 1987.  

She encouraged her son to pursue his culinary and writing career. Anthony Bourdain would go on to become a world-famous memoir writer and television host.

When Anthony was struggling to publish his article on the secrets of the restaurant business in 1999, his mother pulled some strings, getting it under the nose of Times reporter Esther Fein, the wife of the newly minted editor of The New Yorker magazine David Remnick.

‘She came over, and she said, “You know, your husband’s got this new job.” I hate to sound like a pushy mom, but I’m telling you this with my editor’s hat on, not my mother’s hat on. It’s really good, and it’s really interesting, but nobody will look at it, nobody will call him back or give it a second look. Could you put it in your husband’s hands?’ Fein said to the Times on Monday.  

Anthony Bourdain shared this picture of him with his brother Christopher and mother Gladys on Instagram last year

Anthony Bourdain shared this picture of him with his brother Christopher and mother Gladys on Instagram last year

In the end The New Yorker ended up publishing the article entitled Don’t Eat Before Reading This. Days later Anthony Bourdain had a book deal in his hands. 

The article turned into his memoir Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which assessed the food service industry and became a No. 1 New York Times best seller. The book’s success opened the door for Bourdain’s TV career as the host of No Reservations and Parts Unknown.

Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in June 2018 at the age of 61. His death shocked the culinary world.

After her son’s death Gladys said in an interview with Today: ‘He didn’t disguise anything or take on any act of persona. He was who he was, and it was out there for everyone to see.’

Following his death, his mother memorialized her son with a tattoo of his name on her wrist. It was her first and only tattoo. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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