On Sunday, November 8, It was announced that Alex Trebek, longtime host of Jeopardy!, had passed away after battling stage four pancreatic cancer since his announcement in 2019.
Since then, his death had taken the world by storm as young and old mourned the loss of an icon who had captured the hearts of millions of Americans through his no-nonsense and stable hosting of the popular game show, Jeopardy!, making him an early night staple for just about every American family. At one point during his life, in an interview with Barrie Nadler in 2007, Trebek had gone on to express how much it pleased him that the Jeopardy! music theme, “Think!”, had become so recognizable that it was a part of Americana. However, it’s safe to say it wasn’t just the famous tune that cemented its place as part of Americana, but our beloved host as well.
The word found out in the morning through the official Twitter Jeopardy! Account, “Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex.”Although his cause of death wasn’t announced, it is thought that his stage four pancreatic cancer had a hand after he announced his diagnosis in March of 2019. According to the New York Times, Trebek had stated in early 2020 how sometimes the cancer treatment in itself was more painful and distressing than his actual cancer. However, he expressed that giving up would mean “betraying” his loved ones and all those who had ever helped him.
One of the many reasons why people loved him so much was because of his organized and reassuring way of hosting, something which he took to heart. In 2014, of the 8,200 of Jeopardy! which he had filmed, he only ever missed one episode during an April Fools special where he switched places with longtime friend and host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak.
Trebek was born on July 22, 1940, in Ontario, Canada where he stayed and later graduated with a degree in philosophy. Surprisingly, Trebek started out his career in Journalism, working for the Canadian Broadcast Company. He later moved to the U.S. in 1973 and began working as a game show host for several different programs until he landed the deal that changed his life in 1984. That year he filmed the pilot for a reboot of the 1960’s game show Jeopardy!, after the show’s creator loved his work in a guest episode of Wheel of Fortune. Since then he has made thousands of episodes and 32 seasons, of which the last episode ever featuring Trebek will air on Christmas Day 2020.
According to Variety, Trebek has had a long-standing history of philanthropy where he helped and visited developing countries in partnership with World Vision and serving many Geographic Education societies, atoning to his love for the subject. He also is the most accredited game show host in history; he has won the Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding game show host seven times! In an interview with Micheal Strahan, Trebek stated that in his final episode he wanted 30 seconds for a goodbye: “Until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”