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'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek passes away at 80

By Kara Santos Published Nov 08, 2020 11:25 pm

Alex Trebek, the authoritative and genial long-time host of American television quiz show Jeopardy! has passed away. He was 80 years old.

"Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends," said a statement shared on their social media accounts Sunday. "Thank you, Alex."

Trebek hosted dozens of game shows before becoming the host of Jeopardy! in its syndicated debut in 1984. During his run of nearly 37 seasons, he hosted more than 8,200 Jeopardy! episodes, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show.

The beloved host won a number accolades for his work, including the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He received the Order of Canada honor from his native land in 2017.

Though Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019, he continued to host Jeopardy! for the next 18 months. Throughout that time, the host was open and public about his battle with cancer.

The news of his passing was met with an outpouring of grief and tributes from world leaders, Hollywood celebrities, and former Jeopardy! contestants and champions.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called called his passing a “tremendous loss.”

“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.”

In a longer statement, Trudeau described Trebek as "a proud Canadian and beloved TV star who was a familiar face to millions of people across North America and around the world."

Ken Jennings, the game show's best player in terms of consecutive games won and highest winnings said, "Alex wasn't just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I'm grateful for every minute I got to spend with him."

Jennings posted the heartfelt tribute on Twitter along with a photo of the two of them. "Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family – which, in a way, included millions of us."

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who frequently appears in video Daily Double clues on the game show, paid tribute to Trebek in true Jeopardy! style, posting a photo holding a flag of the show’s logo and addressing Trebek as the “patron saint of geeks.”

"And now, one last clue:

KNOWLEDGE for $1,000

Answer:

'He nurtured a Television safe-space for smart people'

Question:

'Who was Alex Trebek (1940-2020)?'

Farewell, patron saint of geeks. Jeopardy host since 1984."

Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and three children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky.

According to a statement by the game show, Jeopardy! episodes hosted by Alex will continue to air through Dec. 25, 2020 (his last day in the studio was Oct. 29). The show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.

Rest in peace, Mr. Trebek. The answer is "Thank You."

(Image from Jeopardy!)