By Ethan Resnik
Alex Trebek, long-time host of the game show “Jeopardy!,” died at the age of 80 on Nov. 8 following a lengthy public battle with late-stage pancreatic cancer.
As reported by Vanity, Trebek revealed in March of 2019 that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and warned that he was “nearing the end of his life” in a video announcing his diagnosis and plans for the future. At the time, he stated his prognosis was not good, but vowed to beat the odds and overcome his diagnosis.
Reported by Vanity earlier this year, he gave an update to fans expressing his challenges surrounding his treatment, but celebrated hitting the one year mark. The survival rate after a year is 18% for those with stage four pancreatic cancer, Trebek said in his statement.
“If we take it just one day at a time, with a positive attitude, anything is possible,” Trebek said in the video to fans. “I’ll keep you posted.”
“‘Jeopardy!’ is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” read a statement shared on the show’s Twitter account. “Thank you, Alex.”
“Jeopardy!” contestant Ken Jennings tweeted that he was thinking of Trebek’s family and the “Jeopardy!” family, “which, in a way, included millions of us.”
“Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did,” Jennings wrote. “He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him.”
As described by CNN, Trebek hosted 8,200 episodes of “Jeopardy!” over an impressive 37 seasons on the show, which was the most by a presenter of any TV game show.
In a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Trebek downplayed the honor of surpassing Bob Barker’s record of longevity, saying, “I’m just enjoying what I’m doing, I’m happy to have a job. I like the show, I like the contestants and it pays well.”
Four months before his death, Trebek was quarantined with his family in Los Angeles due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as reported by People magazine in July, whereas Trebek desperately wanted to be on the set of Jeopardy.
“My job gave me quality of life,” he told People. “It established a rhythm and order of things. I miss it very much,” further stating that he had no plans to retire at the time, warning that “If I did, my wife would probably say I was home too much and getting on her nerves!”
Trebek released his first memoir “And the Answer Is… Reflections on My Life,” according to People. Trebek wrote in his memoir about his hopes for his legacy, stating “I’d like to be remembered first of all as a good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best,” he wrote.
The following Monday, Alex Trebek’s final episodes began airing with touching tributes from executive producer Mike Richards, stating that Trebek “loved this show and everything it stood for. In fact, he filmed his final episodes less than two weeks ago,” according to NBC News.
“He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family,” Richards said. The show will air Trebek’s final 35 episodes through Christmas Day. “On behalf of everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!’ thank you for everything, Alex,” Richards said.