The network, which hosted his popular show Parts Unknown, said in a statement that the chef had taken his own life.
Bourdain was in France working on a shoot for the series when he was found unresponsive in a hotel room this morning (8 June).
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," CNN said in a statement.
"His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."
Bourdain trained at the Culinary Institute of America and went on to run numerous restaurants in New York, including Brasserie Les Halles.
In 1999 he published a New Yorker article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This” which evolved in to the book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Part stark confessional, part industry commentary, it is considered one of the most influential works ever written about being a chef and turned Bourdain in to a celebrity.
Over the past year the chef became an outspoken supporter of the #MeToo movement. In an interview with The Daily Beast published in January he described Kitchen Confidential as “the meathead bible for restaurant employees and chefs” and said he had since re-examined his experience in an industry “historically unfriendly to women”.
As well as becoming a prolific food writer, Bourdain had a lengthy television career, beginning with A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network in 2002.
Parts Unknown, currently in its 11th season, premiered in 2013 and saw Bourdain travel to over 130 countries exploring different cultures and cuisines.
Members of the industry have been taking to Twitter to pay tribute to the chef.
Chef Martin Morales described him as "the coolest and baddest chef on TV".
He wrote: "He inspired me with his brilliant storytelling, authenticity, no bullshit approach and eloquence. His passion for food, cultures and people drove him to create some of the best food and travel TV."
The Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner tweeted: "Terrible news about Tony Bourdain. He was a brilliant man, who single handedly changed what food writing could be."
Noma chef Rene Redzepi wrote: "Another incredible loss to suicide. Heart broken, sad, in disbelief."