Gladys Bourdain, the mother of the late Anthony Bourdain, has passed away at age 85 as reported by the New York Times on Tuesday. Bourdain was a copy editor for the New York Times in her working years, a position that helped her son Anthony Bourdain get his first piece published in the New Yorker, which would eventually launch his lifelong career as a renowned foodie, writer, and traveler before his death in 2018.
Gladys Bourdain, who passed away this week at age 85, had been in failing health in recent months before her death was confirmed by her son this week. Both Bourdain and her son were prolific contributors to the food and media industries throughout their lives. Gladys, who worked for the New York Times between 1984 and 2008, contributed to the paper as a “strict” copywriter and occasional writer, having profiled Julia Child before she began to work for the paper full-time back in 1978.
Gladys Bourdain Played A Major Part In Son Anthony’s Successes
It was through her position at The Times that Gladys managed to get her son Anthony published in The New Yorker. His first article, a food industry expose, was the spark that ignited Bourdain’s longstanding career in media—a career that would take him through book deals, television show hosting opportunities for CNN and The Travel Channel. The position that would eventually give him the opportunity to interview notable figures around the world, from war heroes, local legends in remote, hard to reach places, and even President Obama.
Despite all of this, Bourdain struggled with addiction and mental health problems and fell victim to suicide in the late spring of 2018 while filming for Parts Unknown in France, leaving Gladys and his daughter Ariane Bourdain to survive him. You can read Glady’s Bourdain’s obituary in the New York Times here.