"Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends," the show handle tweeted.
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.
Alex Trebek’s final episode hosting Jeopardy! will air on Christmas Day 2020. pic.twitter.com/kpWKKlrMxp— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) November 9, 2020
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.
Canada mourns passing of Alex Trebek, host of CBC’s Reach For The Top, others pic.twitter.com/GeFe5HeTE8— The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) November 9, 2020
"He certainly has a great intellect, but his heart is really beautiful." Alex Trebek's wife Jean describes in a 2019 interview with @MichaelStrahan how his "compassion has beamed, blossomed in such a beautiful way" over their 30+ year marriage. #AlexTrebek https://t.co/O1THkHAMlc pic.twitter.com/mXkrLxS06b— 20/20 (@ABC2020) November 9, 2020
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.
A few days ago, an exchange between Alex Trebek and a Jeopardy contestant went viral. @albertthakur told Trebek how much the host meant to him coming from an immigrant family. Apparently a lot of us feel this way!— Josie Huang (@josie_huang) November 9, 2020
On Trebek's legacy with immigrants: https://t.co/mMDGooXw1X
“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.
One time I got invited to the National Geographic gala in DC. So obviously I said yes. After dinner they started thanking donors. They named people who gave $1K. Then $10K. Then $100K. And then a guy who gave a MILLION. To the GEOGRAPHY BEE. And he stands up and it’s Alex Trebek.— James Hamblin (@jameshamblin) November 9, 2020
A vigil for Alex Trebek at his star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto pic.twitter.com/MaSJiiL5la— Sarah Sears (@iamSas) November 9, 2020
“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.
"I believe laughter is one of the greatest cures that we can possibly have." #AlexTrebek said in a 2019 interview he wants to be remembered as a "nice man" who "helped people through his charity work" and was "kind to everybody he encountered." https://t.co/FkuEt7ZwkS pic.twitter.com/l1xahKfZPy— 20/20 (@ABC2020) November 9, 2020
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.
Pancreatic cancer is a terrible illness. My heart goes out to Alex Trebek and his family. To find out more about pancreatic cancer and resources if someone you know has it, go to @PanCAN.— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) November 9, 2020
We’re saddened by the passing of legendary @Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. Earlier this year, he helped us recruit the next generation of astronauts – a testament to his dedication to challenging us to expand our knowledge. pic.twitter.com/Z4vwbLy1yn— NASA (@NASA) November 8, 2020
“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.
An incredible ambassador for our game and our country.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 9, 2020
Our thoughts are with Alex Trebek's family, friends and many fans. We'll miss you Alex. pic.twitter.com/8BefPyNsSk
R.I.P. to a legend. We loved you, Alex Trebek. Thanks for everything. pic.twitter.com/NRrPpS0tfv— WatchMojo (@WatchMojo) November 9, 2020