Money & Power

Anthony Bourdain Was Worth Just $1.21 Million at the Time of His Death

Here's what will happen to his fortune.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES/ JASON LAVERIS
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Celebrity chef, author, and television personality Anthony Bourdain died of an apparent suicide in France on June 8, and despite reports that he had amassed a $16 million fortune, recently released legal documents reportedly show he was worth just $1.21 million when he died.

Papers filed in Manhattan Surrogate's Court cited by Page Six reveal that the 61-year-old, who died while he was overseas to film his television show Parts Unknown, left the bulk of his money to his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Busia-Bourdain (below).

Bourdain's property includes $425,000 in cash and savings, $35,000 in a brokerage account, $250,000 in personal property, and $500,000 in "intangible property including royalties and residuals," according to court documents. They also reveal that Bourdain had a $1 million mortgage liability for an unspecified property.

The TV personality's 2016 will appoints Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, Ariane's mother and Bourdain's estranged wife, as the executor of the estate. The couple bought a New York City condominium together in 2014, according to People. "I own an apartment with a mortgage that my ex-wife and my daughter live in, and I’m a renter. I should always be a renter," Bourdain told the celebrity magazine back in February. "I regret buying that apartment. The bank owns it, and then you’re stuck with it."

Bourdain previously discussed his fraught financial situation. The chef told Wealthsimple that "the reports of my net worth are about ten times overstated. I think the people who calculate these things assume that I live a lot more sensibly than I do." Based on the reported contents of his will, he may have been right.

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While the chef found considerable success with books and television projects, it took some time. After dropping out of college at Vassar, Bourdain went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and graduated in 1978. From there, he worked in the kitchens of New York City restaurants like the Supper Club and One Fifth Avenue before becoming executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in 1998.


Anthony Bourdain was a four-time Emmy Award winner

It wasn't until 2000, however, that he started getting additional proceeds from books after publishing his runaway hit Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He followed that with 2002's A Cook's Tour, which included a television show component.

The Travel Channel's programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover came next, in 2005, and more books followed along with essays in the New York Times and the New Yorker.


Bourdain interviewed former president Barack Obama on his show.

In 2013, "both Bourdain and CNN took a risk by bringing him to the news network still best known for breaking news and headlines," the network's Brian Stelter reported. "Bourdain quickly became one of the principal faces of the network and one of the linchpins of the prime-time schedule."

He won Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 for Outstanding Informational Series or Special for Parts Unknown. He also won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2014 for his work on the PBS cooking series Mind of a Chef.

Bourdain, who did not have any narcotics in his body when he died of "suicide by hanging," according to French authorities, was recently romantically linked to 42-year-old Asia Argento; the Italian actress and activist condemned disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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