"I understand that death is part of life. And I’ve lived a long life,” wrote Trebek in his memoir.
Long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died on Sunday after a year of him battling stage-4 pancreatic cancer. He was 80 at the time of his death. Trebek's loss particularly feels personal because of how he was there, every other weeknight, for the past three decades, teaching us something about world leaders, sports, literature. He is, without a doubt, a cultural icon and leaves behind a huge legacy. In his recent memoir, The Answer Is...Reflections On My Life, he reflected on his life and defined his legacy for himself, reports PEOPLE. The memoir was released in July this year. “My life has been a quest for knowledge and understanding, and I’m nowhere near having achieved that. And it doesn’t bother me in the least. I will die without having come up with the answer to many things in life,” the host wrote in the final chapter of his book.
We have lost an icon. Almost every night for more than three decades, Alex Trebek entertained and educated millions around the world, instilling in so many of us a love for trivia. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all who are mourning this tremendous loss. pic.twitter.com/XoobAfJwBv— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 8, 2020
'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak on the death of Alex Trebek: "His strength and courage and grace during his recent health struggles inspired countless others. Alex was truly one of a kind." https://t.co/UXOnc3Uvuq pic.twitter.com/3bWghINPm2— ABC News (@ABC) November 9, 2020
“I’m often asked how I would like to be remembered. I don’t think about it much… But I suppose if I had to answer I would say 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 continued. Despite the pandemic affecting the time he spent with his family during the final days, he wasn't worried about spending his remaining time at home. “There aren’t that many things available for us to do. Here I am wanting to enjoy what might be the last of my days, and, what, I’m supposed to just stay at home and sit in a chair and stare into space?” he wrote. “Actually, that doesn’t sound too bad.”
That’s the best legacy a man can leave. And Alex, you left that and much more! RIP— David Knaak (@knaak_david) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek's animated appearances!— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) November 9, 2020
In order: The Simpsons, Arthur, The Magic School Bus, Family Guy
“Yep, I’ll be perfectly content if that’s how my story ends: sitting on the swing with the woman I love, my soul mate, and our two wonderful children nearby. I’ll sit there for a while and then maybe the four of us will go for a walk, each day trying to walk a little farther than the last,” he continued. “We’ll take things one step at a time, one day at a time.” Trebek leaves behind his wife Jean, and two children; son Matthew, 29, a restaurateur in Manhattan, and daughter Emily, 27, who works in real estate in Los Angeles. Trebek also has an older daughter Nicky, 53, from a previous marriage.
So very sad about the passing of Alex Trebek!! He was a fighter, beloved by many RIP 🌹💔🙏🏻— Judy Poole (@jlpoole1) November 8, 2020
In his memoir, the beloved TV star also wrote about the power of prayer. “The will to survive is so strong in many people. You see it in tragedies all the time, whether it’s earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, or floods. The people who live, the people who survive, we say, “My God, how did they get through that?” he wrote. “Well, there’s a will to survive, and there’s a lot of luck and a lot of God’s help that comes into play. I don’t think the will to survive is a constant. I think there are moments—and there are certainly moments in my life—when that will to survive disappears and I’m ready to pack it in. Because I understand that death is part of life. And I’ve lived a long life,” he continued.
Alex Trebek was also a longtime host of the National Geographic Bee. He will be missed. https://t.co/e2gkjhPM0t— National Geographic (@NatGeo) November 8, 2020
"Where is Heaven?" is now the correct response to the clue, "Home of Alex Trebek." RIP, #AlexTrebek. You were a great Canadian/American who affected the lives of millions of your viewers!— Charles "Chuck" Meyer ⚖️ (@ofcounsellawyer) November 8, 2020
“If I were in my twenties with years ahead of me, I might feel differently. But when you’re about to turn eighty it’s not like you’re missing out on a great many things.” During a recent interview, Trebek revealed how Jean, his wife of 30 years, had been by his side through his cancer battle. "She's kept me alive," he said. Trebek, who completed his memoir while Jeopardy! was on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, said in a 2018 interview with PEOPLE that while he was "pretty satisfied with my life", he wished he'd had a longer life with Jean. "But hey, 29 years is pretty good!”
For those of us who engage in the precious weeknight ritual of shouting at the TV screen and pretending to click imaginary buzzers, losing Alex Trebek is like losing a family member. #Jeopardy https://t.co/rK0MlFTB7I— Elaine Low (@elainelow) November 9, 2020
Fordham University mourns the death of Alex Trebek, Fordham parent, benefactor, and Founder's Award recipient. Our hearts go out to his wife, Jean; daughter, Emily; and son, Matthew, FCRH '13, and all of Alex's family and loved ones.— Fordham University (@FordhamNYC) November 8, 2020