Unfortunate news, friends. Beloved long-time host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, has passed away at the age of 80, Variety reports. He died peacefully at his home early Sunday morning while surrounded by family and friends. Trebek had been diagnosed with Stage Four pancreatic cancer in March 2019. He fought a courageous battle and tirelessly kept working despite his prognosis.
Sony has confirmed that the remainder of Trebek’s hosted Jeopardy! episodes will air through December 25. As reported by Variety, Trebek’s last day in the studio was October 29. The game show, which has been on the air since 1984, is not announcing a replacement at this juncture.
George Alexander Trebek was born July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1961 with a degree in philosophy. During his tenure in college, he developed an interest in news broadcasting. His first hosting job came in 1963 on a Canadian music show called Music Hop. In 1973, Trebek moved to the United States and worked for NBC as the host of The Wizard of Odds that ran for less than a year. He hosted a series of game shows prior to snagging Jeopardy! in 1984. Trebek has been at the helm of the long-running series for 36 years. He holds the Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter.
Additionally, Trebek is known the world over for his philanthropic work. He was involved with numerous charities and educational organizations. Trebek participated in 13 USO tours and adopted a village in Zambia, Africa wherein he helped build a medical facility, a school and homes for teachers. He also sat on the boards of the National Geographic Society Education Foundation and the National Advisory Council for the Literary Volunteers of America.
The official Twitter account for Jeopardy! broke the heartbreaking news to devoted fans.
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
Here’s a quote from Trebek on the Jeopardy! website regarding why the game show has resonated with fans for so long:
I think what makes Jeopardy! special is that, among all the quiz and game shows out there, ours tends to reward and encourage learning.
Thank you for encouraging us to learn, Alex Trebek. You’ve left an indelible mark on our hearts and an imprint on the educational landscape that’ll last for eternity. Your selfless contributions for the betterment of humanity will never be forgotten. Here at GGA, our hearts go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.
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