Beloved television star Alex Trebek, who has been hosting the popular game show Jeopardy! since 1984, has passed away. The news was revealed by the official Jeopardy! Twitter account, which stated that the show's team is "saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends." He was 80 years old.
Alex Trebek has been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for nearly two years, first revealing his diagnosis back in March 2019. Despite the grim diagnosis, Trebek remained optimistic and refused to step down from his role as the host of Jeopardy!. After getting started on chemotherapy treatments, Trebek continued to host the series and remained at work in recent months with safety measures put in place.
In March 2020, Trebek provided an update to his fans, celebrating one year of survival amid his cancer treatments. He only had an 18% chance of making it to that point. Although he explained how rough the cancer treatments had been for him, he refused to give up the battle, feeling that giving in would be a "betrayal" to his supporters. Trebek also vowed to at least make it another year, hoping to survive past March 2021. Sadly, his health took a turn for the worse on Sunday.
George Alexander Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada on July 22, 1940. After earning a degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa, Trebek took an interest in broadcasting, finding work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Taking to hosting naturally, he was hosting the Canadian series Music Hop by 1963, spawning a lifelong career hosting various television game shows and programs.
After relocating to the United States and hosting shows like The Wizard of Odds and High Rollers, Trebek had begun making a much bigger name for himself on the small screen. His most acclaimed gig would come in 1984 when he served as the new host for a revival of the classic game show Jeopardy!, making Trebek a permanent fixture on television over the past few decades as he'd continued to host the series ever since. Reflecting on his life and career, Trebek also published his memoir The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life back in July.
In addition to his work on television, Alex Trebek is also known for his charitable deeds and donations. This includes donating $5 million to the University of Ottawa to fund the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue and funding the Alex Trebek Leadership Award at the university, which gifts an annual $10,000 reward to a summa cum laude graduate who has demonstrated community leadership. In March of this year, Trebek also donated $100,000 to Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, a Los Angeles homeless shelter.
Trebek's survivors include his wife, Jean Currivan, with whom he'd been married since 1990, along with their two children, Matthew and Emily. Our condolences go out to them at this painful time. There will never be another Alex Trebek, and the beloved Jeopardy! host will never be forgotten. This news comes to us from Jeopardy! on Twitter.