Just when you thought the year 2020 couldn’t get any harder to take, news broke this morning that longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died this morning after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
The show announced Trebek’s death on Twitter Sunday morning, saying the beloved television host was surrounded by family and friends when he died peacefully at home.
As host of the quiz show since 1984, Trebek became a staple on televisions across the country, and his calm, kind demeanor won him millions of fans throughout the years.
Trebek has been open about his cancer fight, providing updates to viewers that were filled with both candor and hope. “If we take it just one day at a time, with a positive attitude, anything is possible,” he told viewers in an update earlier this year.
But Trebek knew what he was up against, and just how ruthless stage four pancreatic cancer—and the rigorous chemotherapy treatments he was enduring—could be.
“Yesterday morning my wife came to me and said, ‘How are you feeling?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I want to die.’ It was that bad,” he said. “There comes a time where you have to make a decision as to whether you want to continue with such a low quality of life, or whether you want to just ease yourself into the next level. It doesn’t bother me in the least.”
Fans and contestants alike responded with an outpouring of love as Trebek’s fight unfolded. Last year, a contestant in the Tournament of Champions brought the normally stoic host to tears with his Final Jeopardy response: “We love you, Alex”—and the clip sparked a viral Twitter hashtag filled with admiration and support for the host.
Trebek released a memoir this summer titled “The Answer Is … :Reflections on My Life.” The audiobook version is narrated by Trebek and perennial contestant (and potential new Jeopardy! host?) Ken Jennings, which puts it straight to the top of my “must-buy” list.
News of Trebek’s death quickly spread on social media, and the tributes to the late icon are as wonderful as the man himself.
Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him. pic.twitter.com/CdHCcbqmp2
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
Thank you for making us all want to be a little smarter.
Rest in Peace, Alex Trebek. pic.twitter.com/LK0I0MOcuL
— 🍁 Muppet History 🦃 (@HistoryMuppet) November 8, 2020
Rest in peace Alex Trebek. I had the honour of meeting him once. He made me feel like we’d known each other forever. So very sad. We will all miss him. Thinking of his family today. ❤️
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek began as a steadying, reassuring presence when I would watch JEOPARDY! with my grandmother. He remained a steadying, reassuring presence as I grew up and kept watching. That's a rare talent: to be a consistent bright spot to people of all ages, at all times. RIP, sir.
— Jacob Hall (@JacobSHall) November 8, 2020
Jeopardy! episode last week:
Alex Trebek: “Any family members back home cheering you on?”
Contestant Burt Thakur: “I learned English because of you. My grandfather who raised me…I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day.”pic.twitter.com/5kygDSi3fZ
— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) November 8, 2020
The final taped episodes featuring Trebek behind the podium are slated to run through the end of the year. All of us will certainly miss his calming presence and iconic voice filling the airwaves—thanks for the memories, Alex.
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