"He gave me hope for what one's life can become," Cooper says in a CNN tribute honoring the late culinary icon.
Cooper dedicated his entire broadcast of "Anderson Cooper 360" to Bourdain, who he said was "one of this countries storytellers." Bourdain was also honored by many of his CNN colleagues, including Don Lemon and Wolf Blitzer, in the hour-long special "Remembering Anthony Bourdain."
"Many of you, like many of us, are feeling a whole range of emotions: shock, sadness, confusion that a man who was seemingly having the ride of his life in the middle of his life has now suddenly reached the end of his life," he began his "Anderson Cooper 360" show.
"It's hard to imagine he's gone," he said in a voice over. "[It's] hard to imagine that he's not just off on some far away journey, hard to imagine that he'll not return with new stories to tell, new foods to share."
"Honestly, talking about him in the past tense it's, it's really — yeah, it's really hard to — hard to imagine," Cooper also added during the "Remembering An the special, holding back tears.
The news anchor, whose own brother committed suicide at age 23, reminisced on his personal adventures with Bourdain and how the former chef encouraged him to venture out and try new foods, such as a heart aorta and blood sausage.
"Anthony loved drinking and eating, tasting the delights of the world immersing himself in other cultures and countries -- bringing the rest of us along on his journey," Cooper said, showing many clips of Bourdain's show "Parts Unknown."
"It's impossible from the outside to every fully know what goes on in someone else's heart or in their head," Cooper said. "It's impossible to fathom how quickly one's life can change."
The chef and television host was found dead in France on Friday morning. The cause of death was suicide by hanging. Like many, Cooper was still is shock over the death of a figure who seemed to have it all.
"But certainly, you know, the pain he must have been feeling, at least in that moment or in those moments, and the loneliness he must be feeling it’s just terribly sad to think about. And makes me very sad for him to have — to have a succumbed to that," Cooper said in the tribute. "He gave me hope for what one’s life can become, can be at 61."
If you are ever experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.