Alex Trebek Dies: Longtime Host Of ‘Jeopardy!’ Was 80
Alex Trebek, the longtime host of television quiz show Jeopardy! who inspired millions with his brave public battle against pancreatic cancer, has died. He was 80 and died at home, according to a spokesperson.
Trebek had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and went public about his condition in March 2019. Trebek became host of Jeopardy! upon its revival in 1984. He was under contract until 2022, and pressed on with tapings and media appearances throughout his illness.
Jeopardy! recently began Trebek’s 37th season as show host. Earlier this year, he was aboard for the show’s high-rated “Greatest of All-Time” tournament on prime-time television. The tournament was won by Ken Jennings, whom some have speculated as the host who will take over from Trebek.
Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada in 1940 (he became an American citizen in 1998), Trebek also hosted such shows as The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration and To Tell The Truth.
Trebek hosted more than 8,200 Jeopardy! episodes, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show. He won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He received the Order of Canada honor from his native land in 2017.
“This is an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans,” said Mike Richards, the Jeopardy! executive producer. “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.”
“Today we lost a legend and a beloved member of the Sony Pictures family,” said Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “For 37 amazing years, Alex was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world. He was the heart and soul of Jeopardy! and he will be deeply missed by everyone who made him part of their lives. Our hearts go out to Jean, Matthew, Emily, and Nicky.”
“We join our colleagues at Sony Pictures in mourning the passing of Alex Trebek,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. “Alex was an extraordinary talent whose intelligence, wit and comforting presence appealed to millions of people around the world and made Jeopardy! the outstanding show it is today.”
Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. The family has announced no plans for a service, but gifts in Alex’s memory can go to World Vision, a humanitarian charity focused on aiding those in poverty.
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