Iconic Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek Is Dead at 80

Illustration for article titled Iconic iJeopardy!/i Host Alex Trebek Is Dead at 80
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez (Getty Images)

Alex Trebek, the legendary television host who greeted Jeopardy! viewers night after night for nearly four decades, has died. He was 80 years old.

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Last year, Trebek shared that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, though no cause of death has been announced at press time, CNN reports.

The syndicated quiz show’s official Twitter account confirmed the news on Sunday.

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Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the account wrote. “Thank you, Alex.”

Speaking to NBC News, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards explained what an “enormous loss” Trebek’s passing would have on the show’s crew.

“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,” Richards told the outlet. “His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever.”

Born in Canada, Trebek began his career in journalism, per CNN. He left that profession for game show-hosting in 1966, first with Reach for the Top followed by Jackpot. His breakout moment came in 1984 when Merv Grifin handpicked Trebek as the host of the syndicated Jeopardy! revival, the massively successful quiz show he hosted right up until his death.

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With his warmly authoritative demeanor and charismatic fatherly charm, Trebek went on to win seven Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host as well as break the Guinness World Record for most episodes of a single game show hosted by a presenter.

Jeopardy! has not said anything yet about replacing Trebek, who, according to NBC News, recorded his last episode on Oct. 29. The show will continue airing episodes featuring the longtime host through Christmas day.

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

bohemiangrapes
BohemianGrapes

I’m crying.

I’ve been watching Jeopardy! since Alex started hoisting when I was in first grade. At first my dad would give me the chance to answer questions and he would only answer if I didn’t know. Over time I began to be able to answer more questions and itnwas a contest to see who could answer first. Junior Grapes and I are continuing the tradition.

My dad auditioned for the show when I was 10 or 11, but did not make it. I spent many years convinced that since he didn’t make it, I wouldn’t either. Junior convinced me to take the test, asking if I wanted to spend the rest of my life wondering of I could have made it. I took the computer test in January, in May I took the “in person” test, and in June I had an audition via Zoom with eight other applicants. I now regret taking so long to try out. Even IF I am on after the show continues, it will not be the same.