Iconic Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who announced in March of 2019 that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, died on Sunday. He was 80 years old.
A statement from the long time hit show confirmed the news in a statement:
“This is an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew, and all of Alex’s millions of fans. He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”
In a taped message for his fans upon his initial diagnosis, Trebek said the prognosis was “never very encouraging but I’m gonna fight this.” “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. Truth be told, I have to. 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.”
As a career emcee, Trebek began hosting game shows from his native Canada, moving to the United States in the ’70s to host The Wizard of Odds and High Rollers for NBC, as well as Double Dare and Pillsbury Bake-Off for CBS. He joined Jeopardy! in 1984, but continued holding hosting duties for shows like The National Geographic Bee from 1989-2013 and To Tell the Truth from 1990-91.
In 2011, Trebek earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys. He also won seven Emmys for Outstanding Game Show host. In 2014, Guinness World Records announced that Trebek had broken the record for the most game show episodes (6,829) hosted by the same person on the same program.
Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky.