If you’ve ever watched Jeopardy!, then you know that the show just wouldn’t be the same without host Alex Trebek. He’s been a giant fixture of pop culture ever since the show’s inception and has been watched by millions of families since 1984. The show has had thousands of episodes and Trebek has been a part of it all. That’s what makes the news today even sadder, and hard to even believe, as we’ve learned that the host has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
A Jeopardy! spokesperson revealed the sad news, saying:
“Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”
Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek revealed he was fighting the disease back in March of last year, saying the following in a video message:
“Hi everyone, I have some news to share with all of you and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.
Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to 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. Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done. Thank you.”
Impressively, Trebek began chemo immediately after the diagnosis – but didn’t retire. He fought the disease and continued hosting the show up until his death. He was an icon and will definitely be missed by many. R.I.P.