Longtime Jeopardy Host Alex Trebek Dies At 80 After Battling Pancreatic Cancer

TV KNOWLEDGE FOR 1000: He was the greatest gameshow host of all time. ANSWER: Who was Alex Trebek?

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Lily Belcher

On Sunday, November 8, longtime TV host Alex Trebek died from Pancreatic Cancer at 80 years old surrounded by his family and friends.

He was diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer in March of 2019 and began treatment quickly after. Despite the grueling chemotherapy treatments and adverse effects, including depression and immense pain, Trebek continued to host Jeopardy as he had for 36 years. In March of 2020, he surpassed the one year survival rate of 18%, which he said he was “very happy” to pass.

“He was someone you could count on to entertain you every weekday, even when his health barely allowed it,” said former Jeopardy contestant James Holzhauer. “Anyone wishing to honor Alex’s memory should consider a donation to his favorite charity, World Vision.”

Within hours of his death, tributes to Trebek poured out from fans and contestants of Jeopardy on Twitter.

“It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life,” tweeted Holzhauer.

It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life”

— James Holzhauer

Trebek began his career as a radio host for CBC, hosting quiz and game shows in Canada. Upon moving to America, he continued as a gameshow host with NBC before landing a job as the host of Jeopardy in 1984, earning him multiple Emmy’s for Outstanding Game Show Host and the most nominations (31) for the category. Trebek hosted over 8200 episodes of the gameshow, the most of a TV game show host according to Sony Pictures.

On Jeopardy, Trebek became known for his humor and quick wit, but contestants knew him for his caring and dedicated personality.

“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,” said Ken Jennings, who holds the record for longest winning streak on Jeopardy.

Trebek’s last day in the studio was October 29 and his final episode as Jeopardy’s host will air on December 25. Sony Pictures has not announced plans for a new host.