This Canadian-American game show icon hosted Jeopardy for more than 36 years and will be greatly missed. Who is: Alex Trebek.
Yesterday, Jeopardy producers confirmed on social media and with a press release that long-time host Alex Trebek had “passed away at home … surrounded by family and friends” following a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.
Trebek initially announced his cancer diagnosis in a video last March. He went on to continue filming the show and, according to a press release, episodes hosted by Trebek will continue to air until Dec. 25. His last day in the studio was Oct. 29, and the show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.
Last night, 20/20 aired a special hour-long broadcast, Alex Trebek Remembered, which followed his life and legacy. The special features candid interviews with Trebek and his loved ones, conducted by Michael Strahan, T.J. Holmes, and Robin Roberts. If you missed the 20/20 episode when it premiered last night, you can stream it today on Hulu.
Following the news of Trebek’s death, many former contestants, public figures, and celebrities posted tributes to the popular host on social media. Here are some of the touching messages that they shared:
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. pic.twitter.com/CdHCcbqmp2
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
Neil deGrasse Tyson
View this post on Instagram
A keepsake from my several appearances in video Daily Doubles. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ And now, one last clue: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ KNOWLEDGE for $1,000 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Answer: “He nurtured a Television safe-space for smart people.’ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Question: “Who was Alex Trebek (1940-2020) ?” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Farewell, patron saint of geeks. Jeopardy host since 1984
Who is, Alex Trebek! RIP 🙏🏾💙😪 pic.twitter.com/HCpVxrEuan
— Sean Don (@BigSean) November 9, 2020
Last Week Tonight
When we needed someone everyone likes and trusts for our piece on conspiracies this summer, we knew the perfect choice was Alex Trebek, who was every bit as kind and generous with his time as you would hope. https://t.co/ZyzhnUuytj pic.twitter.com/VvNBQTUYwA
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) November 8, 2020
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. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex. https://t.co/LLoUASRMa9
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek, you brought us so much knowledge, both important and fun, through the years. Your final battle with cancer was heroic, and we are heartbroken that it has taken you from us. I’ll take “Great TV Personas of Our Time” for $800. The heavens have all the answers now.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek was kind enough to film a cameo for our film Free Guy last year despite his battle. He was gracious and funny. In addition to being curious, stalwart, generous, reassuring and of course, Canadian. We love you, Alex. And always will.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 8, 2020
We have lost an icon. Almost every night for more than three decades, Alex Trebek entertained and educated millions around the world, instilling in so many of us a love for trivia. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all who are mourning this tremendous loss. pic.twitter.com/XoobAfJwBv
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 8, 2020
I was obsessed with Jeopardy as a nerdy kid growing up in Ohio. I’ve loved and revered Alex Trebek since I can remember. What an iconic career. RIP Alex Trebek.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) November 8, 2020
When with proud joy we lift Life's red wine up
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.
— Burt Thakur (@albertthakur) November 8, 2020
Reading all the wonderful tributes to Alex and the thing that keeps jumping out at me for some reason is that he was on set taping the *Thursday before last*. What a badass.
— Brad Rutter (@bradrutter) November 9, 2020
On my taping day, during one of the Q&A sessions during a commercial break, somebody asked Alex if he ever wanted to be on "Wheel of Fortune." "No," he responded, "I already know how to spell." pic.twitter.com/EjP0m1GYJi
— W. Lewis Black (@W_Lewis_Black) November 8, 2020
2005, I lose my third show on Jeopardy and join the audience for the next taping. Alex is warming us up, asks for questions.
"Who's your favorite philosopher," I shout.
"Mark Twain," he yells back. No hesitation. The more I think about it, the better an answer it is. RIP
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) November 8, 2020
One thing that can’t be overlooked here is that Alex kept showing up for work during the hardest year and a half of his life for *us*. He knew he was more than a game show host. I don’t know if he understood exactly why we felt so deeply for him, but he understood that we did.
— Steven Grade (@ask_Steven) November 8, 2020