Alex Trebek, one of the most famous and popular game show hosts in television history, early Sunday morning.
He was 80 years old.
The tragic news comes about a year and a half after Trebek told the world that he had been diagnosed 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,” the official show account Tweeted on Sunday.
The longtime television personality, who began his stint on the game show in 1984, publicly revealed in March 2019 that he was suffering from stage IV pancreatic cancer.
He knew at the time that his prognosis was grim. Yet Trebek remained hopeful.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said in a YouTube video on March 6, 2019.
“Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging.”
But I’m gonna fight this and I’m gonna keep working 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.”
The beloved host also asked his fans back then to lift up prayers on his behalf.
This is what Trebek said:
“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.”
The Jeopardy quipped at the time that he had to continue working due to the terms of his contract that ran through the 2021-22 season.
“Truth told, I have to because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years!” he joked.
“So help me! Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Trekek certainly fought as hard as one can, given his circumstances.
In August of last year, he said he had completed treatment.
However, the following month, he revealed that his health had taken a turn for the worst.
“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 on Good Morning America.
“I lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed.
He added: “So the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again and that’s what I’m doing.”
During this same GMA interview, Trebek opened up about death… and being prepared to say farewell when his time came.
“I realize there is an end in sight for me, just as there is for everyone else,” Trebek acknowledged.
“One line that I have used with our staff in recent weeks and months is that when I do pass on, one thing they will not say at my funeral is, ‘Oh, he was taken from us too soon.'”
“I’ve had one helluva good life and I’ve enjoyed it. The thought of passing on doesn’t frighten me. It doesn’t. Other things do.”
“The effect it will have on my loved ones,” he added, “yes, that bothers me. It makes me sad. The thought of myself moving on, hey folks, it comes with the territory.”
Born in Ontario, Trebek started his career at the Canadian Broadcasting Company in 1961.
He hosted a number other game shows before taking on the role of Jeopardy! host in 1984, becoming a household name over the nearly four decadues that he starred on the program.
Overall, he has hosted nearly 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy!, which has earned him numerous awards, including a multitude of Daytime Emmy Awards.
Without question, he is a TV icon that will never be replaced or forgotten.
Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and their two children.
Son Matthew, 29, a restaurateur in Manhattan who owns Oso (a popular Mexican restaurant in North Harlem), and daughter Emily, 27, who works in real estate in Los Angeles.
May Alex Trebek rest in peace.