Alex Trebek, the beloved host of daytime trivia staple Jeopardy! lost his battle with cancer on Sunday morning at the age of 80.
“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the show’s Twitter account announced. “Thank you, Alex.”
In March of 2019, Trebek revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was met by an outpouring of support by fans of the show he hosted since it premiered in 1984.
The Canadian native won seven daytime Emmys and was nominated 31 times during his turn as the longest running presenter on a gameshow. In 2014, Trebek made history for breaking The Price is Right’s Bob Barker’s Guinness World Record for most game show episodes hosted with an astonishing 6,829 filmed.
Trebek began his career in television as the host of Canadian teen music show Music Hop in 1963, then picked up his first game show gig on CBC’s Reach for the Top in 1966.
Merv Griffin tapped Trebek to reinvent and produce the revival of Jeopardy! in 1984. He hosted 8,173 episodes and filmed his last show on October 29, 2020.
Former contestants have expressed their heartbreak over Trebek’s death. Champion James Holzhauer posted: “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.”
Holzhauer competed with other former champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter earlier this year to resolve the question of who amongst them is the “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time (GOAT).”
GOAT winner Ken Jennings wrote that he was “grateful for every minute” he was able to spend with “lovely” Trebek, and Rutter said he was “gutted” by the news. “There will never be another.”
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
Just gutted. There will never be another. RIP, Alex, and thank you so much for everything. https://t.co/4FMlgaFYvI
— Brad Rutter (@bradrutter) November 8, 2020
In a 2019 interview with Good Morning America, the beloved host said he wasn’t afraid of dying.
“I’ve had one hell of a good life. And I’ve enjoyed it … the thought of passing on doesn’t frighten me, it doesn’t. Other things do, the affect it will have on my loved ones … it makes me sad. But the thought of myself moving on, hey folks, it comes with the territory.”
Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and two children Matthew and Emily.