Listen now on
#219 Tony Bourdain: The Definitive Biography
November 30th, 2021 | E219

What I learned from reading Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever.


Come see a live show with me and Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like The Best on October 19th in New York City. 

Get your tickets here


Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium  

Subscribers can: 

-ask me questions directly

-listen to Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes

-listen to every bonus episode


[28:32] All the energy he'd put into trying to destroy himself, he put that into building himself back up. All that negative energy became something else. He became so serious, and so driven and focused. He worked really hard. It takes a lot of determination to wake up early in the morning and write, and then go to a job in the kitchen, and come home at god knows what hour, and get up the next morning and do it again. He was a fiend. One time, he said about his disciplined writing regimen, "Such was my lust to see my name in print." He threw himself into his work in a manner that I found astonishing.

[41:17] He gave me really good advice: "Stay public. You gotta promote, promote, promote, or it all dies. You just gotta be out there all the time." Tony embraced that.

[56:17] He proceeded to tell everyone to ignore the network. He said, "Completely ignore everything they're saying about music, about story, about shots. Let me deal with it all. I'm gonna make the show I want to make, across all fronts.” I had already been editing for ten years, and this was the first time I'd heard anything like this. Everyone is always just trying to make the network happy.

[1:01:51] The line between Tony and the show was very thin, if it existed at all.

[1:07:07] This life isn't a greenroom for something else. He went for it.

[1:20:50] He demanded excellence, and he never settled for shit. He just wanted the show to be the greatest thing ever, all the time.

[1:22:48] It was his life's work, and he never slacked.

[1:34:56] Tony gorged himself on being alive.

[1:46:13] The world is not better off with him not here. It's just not.

[1:45:46] I liked him better when he was just kind of living his best life and looking in the rearview mirror like he stole something. This beautiful life that he had, something people would dream of, and no one else could do it but him. A "slit my wrist" love story is just the shittiest ending to it all.


Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can ask me questions directly which I will answer in Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes 


I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast