Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has passed away, according to multiple reports Sunday morning.
- “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 “Jeopardy!” Twitter account said.
Trebek revealed back in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“I’m going to fight this. And I’m going to keep working,” he said.
In March 2020, Trebek talked about his survival after he reached the one year mark, as the Deseret News reported.
- “The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,” Trebek said. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”
- He added, “Now I’d be lying if I said the journey had been an easy one. There were some good days but a lot of not-so-good days,” Trebek says in the post, which was released on the game show’s official social media accounts. “There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned and sudden massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting it on.”
For 36 years, Trebek inspired “Jeopardy!” fans and contestants alike in his role as host. In fact, this past week, he made the news for reaching out to a 7-year-old fan in Virginia who had dressed up like him for Halloween and also for being the main reason Burt Thakur, an immigrant and recent contestant, was able to successfully learn English.
“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 wrote.
Many “Jeopardy!” fans have speculated that Jennings could one day be the next host of “Jeopardy!” The “Jeopardy!” champ is currently a consulting producer for the show’s 37th season.
“I mean, it’s absolutely a dream job,” Jennings told the Deseret News. “What a great job. … But I really can’t even think about anybody but (Trebek) hosting the show. He’s a hero to America’s nerds. I’m not emotionally prepared for turning on the TV and seeing anybody who’s not Alex Trebek — whether it’s me or not — hosting ‘Jeopardy!’ I’m just not ready to consider that yet.
“I hope he hosts for 100 years.”
Other tributes began flooding social media:
My early love for history and trivia came through watching Jeopardy! with my mom when I was young.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 8, 2020
Remember the night I answered more questions than her for the first time.
Thank you Alex Trebek for being part of our lives. You were the ultimate host #RIP pic.twitter.com/K0Cim8ZglT
Trebek said in a memoir released in fall 2020 that he sometimes regretted going public with the diagnosis.
- “The longer I’ve lived with the cancer, the more my definition of toughness has changed,” he writes. “I used to think not crying meant you were tough. Now I think crying means you’re tough. It means you’re strong enough to be honest and vulnerable. It means you’re not pretending.”