“Jeopardy!” host and Canadian television icon Alex Trebek has passed away at age 80.
According to a tweet from the “Jeopardy!” account, the Sudbury, Ont. born TV personality “passed away peacefully at home” early Sunday morning, “surrounded by family and friends.”
Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Television Distribution — which produces the game show — issued a statement on Trebek’s death.
“Words can’t even describe what a tremendous loss this is for our ‘Jeopardy!’ family,” said LoCascio. “Not only was Alex a television icon, but he was one of the most genuine, kind, caring people you could ever know. The way he openly and bravely battled cancer, while continuing to host the show, was a true inspiration. He has brought joy to the millions of fans – including generations of families — who have welcomed Alex into their living room each night. Our hearts go out to Alex’s wife and children. We have truly lost a legend.”
Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean Currivan Trebek, their two children Matthew, 30, and Emily, 27, as well as his daughter Nicky, 53, from his previous marriage to Elaine Callei Trebek.
In March 2019, Trebek announced he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working,” Trebek said in his announcement. “And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” he added.
Characteristically, Trebek ended his statement with a joke: “Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for three more years!”
After his cancer diagnosis, Trebek continued to host “Jeopardy!” up until his death.
After graduating from the University of Ottawa, Trebek started his broadcasting career at the CBC, beginning as a newscaster and fill-in reporter. In 1966, he became host of Canadian quiz show “Reach for the Top”, and then became host of another game show, “Jackpot”.
In 1973 he left Canada for Hollywood, where he landed a job hosting the short-lived game show “The Wizard of Odds”.
Trebek continued to make a name for himself as a game show host, and in 1984 was hired to helm a revival of “Jeopardy!”, which initially aired from 1964 to 1975.
With Trebek as host, the show became an iconic hit that continues to draw millions of viewers.
In his recently published memoir, The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life, Trebek reflected on the enduring popularity of “Jeopardy!” and the role he’s played in its success.
“Viewers have gotten used to having me there, not so much as a showbiz personality, but as an uncle,” he wrote. “I’m part of the family more than an outside celebrity who comes into your home to entertain you. They find me comforting and reassuring as opposed to being impressed by me.”
Trebek hosted “Jeopardy!” for 37 seasons and over 8,200 episodes. As of June 2014, Trebek held the Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a game show.
He held won seven Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated 31 times, more than anyone in history. Upon his death, Adam Sharp, president/CEO of the Daytime Emmy Organization released a statement.
“The entire Daytime community is in mourning over the loss of our friend, the icon, Alex Trebek. Ever a champion of excellence, he was always an energetic celebrant at the Daytime Emmys, bringing his sharp wit and rich humour to his own acceptance speeches and his tributes to others. A lifetime achievement Emmy winner, and onetime host of our Technology Emmys, he was committed to elevating our craft and our industry. We miss him terribly,” Sharp said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted the following statement: “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.”
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
Celebrities have been reacting to Trebek’s passing on social media:
One evening, I had watched an early taping of Jeopardy. When I sat down to watch it again later with my grandparents, I answered everything correctly, and shocked my entire family. When I told that story to Alex Trebek, we laughed for a solid 20 minutes. May He Rest In Peace.
— B R E T T K I S S E L (@BrettKissel) November 8, 2020
Thank you, Alex. https://t.co/0ChGPYVHtr
— dan levy (@danjlevy) November 8, 2020
Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
Very sorry to hear the news about Alex Trebek. Condolences to his family. 😞
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) 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
RIP Alex Trebek. A true, true gentleman and courageous hero. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest 💛 pic.twitter.com/autbyxnlcs
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) November 8, 2020
The answer is….. THANK YOU! Alex Trebek. You were grace and guts and humor and deep love.
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) November 8, 2020
— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) November 8, 2020
Such sad news about Alex Trebek. He was an immense talent and a class act. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
— Meredith Vieira (@meredithvieira) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek was like a family member who I watched every night. I remember going to the set to watch him tape a show before I started my TV career. He was a big influence and one of a kind. Rest In Peace, Alex. https://t.co/B9wq95uRg4
— Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) November 8, 2020
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) 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
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
RIP to a great giver of joy and knowledge. https://t.co/NsB6ejrBHQ
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) November 8, 2020
Couldn't we have one nice weekend? A kind gentleman whose excellence was so consistent, it was easy to take for granted. Rest well, Mr. Trebek. https://t.co/Zq7RN6kSKk
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) November 8, 2020
My heart breaks for the Trebek family upon hearing this heartbreaking news. Alex Trebek was a legend. There was no one like him. Kind, elegant, talented, good. Heaven just became brighter and we here on earth mourn him. #alextrebek #RIP https://t.co/P4bWE9K7ok
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) November 8, 2020
Rest In Peace, Alex Trebek. Sending all my love, thoughts and prayers. ❤️🙏 pic.twitter.com/MaOtcgvwYb
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy for 36 years. What an incredible career and remarkable life. I’m sending love to his family and fans.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 8, 2020
More 2020 heartbreak. 💔💔💔
Rest in peace, Alex Trebek. 🙏🏽
One of my favorite moments in my career was coming on Celebrity Jeopardy.
You were so lovely.
You’ll be really missed. https://t.co/Vy3wqgvksR
— Holly Robinson Peete😷🥰 (@hollyrpeete) November 8, 2020
— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) November 8, 2020
— nope (@LilNasX) November 8, 2020
🇨🇦💔 Thank you, Alex https://t.co/q6TuuRNsxt
— dallassmith (@dallassmith) November 8, 2020
Thank you, Alex Trebek. Elwood City misses you already ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Dow9oLvFq1
— Arthur Read (@arthurpbs) November 8, 2020
What is: One of the most beloved tv hosts in my lifetime? #AlexTrebek Bless you for fostering a love of learning, your consistent spirit of excellence, and for generously sharing your life with us for more than 30 years. I will forever be your fan. pic.twitter.com/OBbdEP3cXD
— Courtney B. Vance (@CourtneyBVance) November 8, 2020
Didn’t always watch #Jeopardy , but when I did, #AlexTrebek was a constant reminder that knowledge, wit and elegance are a pretty sexy combo. Much love to the family and friends of one of #Canada ‘s favorite sons. pic.twitter.com/hNTOvKklzN
— Eric McCormack (@EricMcCormack) November 8, 2020
Damn. 😞 Rest in love, Alex Trebek. ❤️❤️❤️❤️⛅️
— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) November 8, 2020
— WS (@wesleysnipes) November 8, 2020
I’m so saddened that Alex Trebek has passed. Growing up, he made me feel like my nerdiness was valuable and I loved learning from watching jeopardy. It was our family’s nightly pleasure. https://t.co/MQLfQz6Fa1
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) November 8, 2020
My heart is heavy hearing of Alex Trebek’s passing. The soundtrack of my life was hearing his voice every night at 7pm. There will never be a host quite like him ever again. God bless him and his family. And may his legacy forever live on. (Insert final Jeopardy music here.) pic.twitter.com/Qz61Bkamet
— Charlie Puth (@charlieputh) November 8, 2020
This beloved game show host had all the answers before we ever asked the questions. ♥️
— Phil Rosenthal (@PhilRosenthal) November 8, 2020
— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) November 8, 2020
So sad. Thinking of the Trebek family and all his loved ones.🙏🏾 https://t.co/CGwQydOS1Z
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) November 8, 2020
Greatest host of one of the greatest shows of all time who passed away sadly after a long battle with cancer.
……Who was Alex Trebek?
RIP Mr. Trebek. Thank you for always being there at the end of the day to take my mind off things.
— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) November 8, 2020
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek’s courage, grace and strength inspired millions and awed those of us who knew him. A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers and countless viewers. I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day.
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek was a fighter, a gentleman, and a legend. Just like many fans, I also enjoyed watching jeopardy growing up. I’m happy I got to meet the man. Sending love to Alex’s family. RIP🙏🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/kNsv3VNzQw
— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek holds a special place in my heart. He was like Mr. Rogers, or Carl Sagan on Cosmos, or Bob Ross. Somebody kind who just wanted to share knowledge with us.
— Mara “Get Rid of the Nazis” Wilson (@MaraWilson) November 8, 2020
Sending love and prayers to Alex Trebek’s family & the whole Jeopardy crew. Rest In Peace. 🙏🏻
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) November 8, 2020
I was the “answer” on Jeopardy a couple of times and hearing ALEX TREBEK say my name truly felt like a dream. We could all benefit from conducting ourselves with that level of elegance and measure. An icon for almost 40 years! RIP Alex Trebek. 💙
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) November 8, 2020
He not only provided decades of entertainment but he was a sweet sweet man and a good hockey player. You will be missed #Alextrebek #RIP @jeopardy AND thanks @instaeatss for getting us in to watch the legend at work last year. pic.twitter.com/GGyep3l5yl
— Michael Rosenbaum (@michaelrosenbum) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek. Who is a Canadian icon who will be missed? ♥️🙏
— Gerry Dee (@gerrydee) November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek was a gentleman, and it was a privilege to share the stage, even briefly, with such a kind, thoughtful guy. Rest in Peace. pic.twitter.com/moZrpOhLwA
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) November 8, 2020
Our hearts are with our friends at Jeopardy! as they say goodbye to their incredible host, Alex Trebek. He will be greatly missed by all of us. https://t.co/pjEBPcmMHr
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) November 8, 2020
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I will cherish the many memories I have shared with Alex Trebek that date back well before either of our careers took off. I will always be in awe of the way he faced the battle he fought so valiantly, and I’m devastated to lose my longtime friend. My heart is with his family, friends, co-workers and fans. There will never be another Alex Trebek and he will truly be missed.