Alex Trebek, the beloved long-running host of Jeopardy!, died early Sunday morning at the age of 80. Trebek hosted the classic competition series for nearly 40 years, even after he publicly announced his diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer in March 2019.
The official Jeopardy! Twitter account verified the heartbreaking news and thanked Trebek for his years of award-winning service. Trebek mostly recently won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in June 2020. He was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Trebek accumulated a long and impressive list of accomplishments during his time hosting 37 seasons and over 8,000 episodes.
Former contestants and celebrities alike are remembering Trebek and lamenting his loss. “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X left two broken heart emojis under the Tweet from the official Jeopardy! page. Internet personality and correspondent for The Ellen DeGeneres Show Kalen Allen, also commented under the Tweet writing “Thank you, Alex! What an icon!”
Ken Jennings, who is the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time, and holds the record for the longest winning streak with 74 wins on Jeopardy!, told Twitter followers how appreciative he was of the time he spent alongside Trebek. He posted a photo of himself and the host posing for a selfie. Jennings then expressed his sentiments for Trebek’s family.
“Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us.”
According to the quiz show’s website, Trebek’s last day in the studio was Oct. 29. The final set of new episodes featuring him will air now through Dec. 25, 2020.
“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,” Executive Producer Mike Richards shared. “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.”
The statement from Sony Pictures also said Trebek passed away at home surrounded by family and friends. Since 1984, Alex Trebek was the face of Jeopardy!, and the trivia master will truly be missed by fans everywhere. The show has not revealed plans for a new host at this time.
The unforgettable television personality is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and three children, Nicky, Emily, and Matthew.