'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Dies After Cancer Battle

'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Dies After Cancer Battle

"Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends," the show handle tweeted.

Image Source: Getty Images/ "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek in Las Vegas on April 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller)

Alex Trebek, the host of the popular quiz show Jeopardy! has died a year after his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, reports PEOPLE. He was diagnosed in March last year. Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex, the show tweeted on Sunday. He was 80 at the time of his death. Trebek, who has been the host for the game show since its 1984 debut in syndication, said, “I have lived a good life, a full life and I’m nearing the end of that life,” in October last year, as per Variety.







However, when he was diagnosed, he shared a heartfelt message to his fans, vowing to fight the disease and promising that he'd continue to host the show for years to come. “Now normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working,” he said. He also asked his fans to keep him in their prayers for his fast recovery. “And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” continued Trebek, who also joked that he had to stay alive because he had three more years left on his contract. 







Two months later, in May 2019, he revealed that things were looking better and told PEOPLE that he was near remission. “It’s kind of mind-boggling,” he said. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.” Towards the end of August, Trebek announced that he was done with his chemotherapy and that he was about to be okay. 






“I’ve gone through a lot of chemotherapy, and thankfully that is now over,” he said. “I’m on the mend and that’s all I can hope for right now.” The following month, he was back to host the 36th season of Jeopardy!. “I truly hope you folks have enjoyed revisiting some of our special tournaments throughout this past summer. But today, Jeopardy! begins its 36th season on the air and I’m happy to report, I’m still here,” Trebek said during the show. Sadly, his joy was shortlived as he announced in September last year that he had to undergo chemotherapy yet again because the cancer had come back. 






“I was doing so well and my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer, so we were all very optimistic,” Trebek said. “They said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy’ and I lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky-high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed.” Trebek, born in Ontario, started his career at the Canadian Broadcasting Company in 1961. He was a part of a few other shows before he landed a job with Jeopardy! in 1984 and went on to become a household name. 






During his time on the show, he reportedly battled numerous health issues, including two heart attacks, a full knee replacement, surgery to remove blood clots on his brain, and a torn Achilles tendon. In January 2019, Trebek said he knew he had to be more active, but he was unable to. “If I really wanted to do it, I would do it. I’ve got a little room over there with an exercise treadmill, and if I wanted to exercise and I thought it was really important, I would do it. But I don’t do it. I’m not a person who exercises for the sake of exercise, but I should start,” he said. “I’m becoming more sedentary, and that’s not a good thing.” It was during the same time that he said he was contemplating retirement.






“They’ve been wondering [if I’m going to retire] for years,” he told PEOPLE. “Somebody asked me once, ‘Have you given any thought to retiring?’ This was about seven, eight years ago. And I said, ‘Yes I have.’ Well, all of a sudden, Trebek is retiring. No. He has thought about retirement!” He continued, “You get to a certain age, and if you’ve been doing the same show for 30 years, or the same job, whatever it is, for 30 years, wouldn’t you think about retirement? What am I gonna do? I’m enjoying myself and I’m having a good time with what I’m doing now, but if I were to retire, what would I do? I’d be lost.” Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and their two children: son Matthew, 29, and daughter Emily, 27.







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