RIP Alex Trebek (1940-2020)

Alex Trebek speaks to Jeopardy! fans on March 6, 2019.

Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy! passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends, according to the show. He was 80 years old.

Alex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019, and he continued to host Jeopardy! for the next 18 months. Throughout that time, Alex was open and public about his battle with cancer. Jeopardy! episodes hosted by Alex will air through December 25, 2020 (his last day in the studio was October 29). The show is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Alex hosted dozens of game shows before becoming the host of Jeopardy! in its syndicated debut in 1984. He hosted more than 8,200 Jeopardy! episodes over the course of nearly 37 seasons, setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show. Alex won the Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He received the Order of Canada honor from his native land in 2017. (Here at The Jeopardy! Fan, I had the pleasure of meeting Alex Trebek at my final audition for the show, two days before he accepted the award.)

“This is an enormous loss for the Jeopardy! staff, crew, and all of Alex’s millions of fans. He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years. Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host Jeopardy! was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen. His constant desire to learn, his kindness, and his professionalism will be with all of us forever,” said Mike Richards, Jeopardy! Executive Producer.

Alex is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. The family has announced no plans for a service, but gifts in Alex’s memory could go to World Vision, according to the show.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa, Trebek’s career began in Canada, at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in the early 1960s. He then famously hosted Reach for the Top as well as curling coverage in Canada before heading to the United States. His American game show hosting career included The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, the 1970s CBS version of Double Dare, The $128,000 Question, Pitfall, Battlestars, Classic Concentration, and the 1990-91 version of To Tell the Truth.

The Jeopardy! Fan raised and donated $648.11 to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in 2019 and 2020 through the sale of shirts.

35 Comments on "RIP Alex Trebek (1940-2020)"

  1. Prithvi Sudhakar | November 8, 2020 at 12:49 pm |

    We miss you, Alex!

  2. He worked till the end. A real legend.

  3. So saddened by this news. RIP Alex, 7:30 pm will never be the same.

  4. So sad now. The show will never be the same

  5. R.I.P., Alex Trebek.

  6. Sigh. You knew it would come eventually but not so soon. I feel I’ve lost a friend. God rest him. Condolences to all of us fans.

  7. Brad (not Rutter) | November 8, 2020 at 1:35 pm |

    Devastating. I thought he looked fairly good on recent episodes.

    Nobody could have done the job better.

  8. I am thankful that I was able to share this legendary man with my children. Alex Trebek and Jeopardy! have been a theme and constant throughout my life, since I was a little girl. He has left an imprint on so many lives; he will be missed!

  9. Anne Edwards | November 8, 2020 at 2:15 pm |

    Alex was a good friend who visited our family for a half hour every night. He will be sorely missed. RIP old friend.

  10. Marty Cunningham | November 8, 2020 at 2:18 pm |

    Nooooooo! Say it ain’t so! (but,sadly it is)

    For me, i heard about this almost three years to the day since i appeared on the show (i was in the taping on November 9, 2017)

    Truly a great honor to meet Alex, and to shake his hand (fist) at the end of the first show i taped. Didn’t know if i would win anything, but i figured i would at least get $ 1,000 to cover my travel to L.A. and, more importantly, as i told friends “I will get to meet Alex Trebek”. the set seemed smaller to see in person, but Alex was just as big as he seemed at home, warm, personable, a gracious host seeking to put everyone at ease, and help them to play their best game.

    I was very sad to hear of his illness last year, so this news today was not a total surprise, but like “Final Jeopardy!” it may have come a little quicker than we were expecting.

    Alex as a true master at his craft. He often reminded contestants of which of them had control of the board, but he was always in command of the show. As one of the production staff always reminded us during the commercial breaks,”it will always look great when you watch it at home” and Alex was the main reason for such a high-quality program. He always said that he was not the star of the show, it was the contestants and the material, and he never got in the way of that.

    At this point in taping, they probably have enough shows already in the can to get through the end of January, but they usually take a production break around the holidays. 2020 already brought a lot changes on the production staff, it will be interesting to see where the show goes from here.

  11. Jim Cardillo | November 8, 2020 at 2:38 pm |

    This is sad. He will be missed.

  12. Alex Trebek you will be sorely missed. Even though I thoroughly understood how ill you were, I still was not expecting this day to come. At least, not so soon. Peace to your family and friends.
    Rest in peace, Alex. The world is a little less kinder without you.

  13. Marla Chaikin | November 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm |

    Alex has been my idol forever. I nagged my son Andrew to take the test for 35 years. He appeared on Friday night and won the game, so of course will be back on Monday. This tragic news turned a wonderful weekend into a very sad one but l am so grateful that Andrew got the opportunity to meet Alex.
    Rest in peace tough fighter and brilliant and charming gentleman. My sincerest condolences to his loved ones.

  14. Your courage and grace for the better part of the last two years was something to see and you will be missed. Rest in gentle peace sir, you’ve earned it. ❤️🙏

  15. Even though he was 80, this day still seems to come too soon. All my life, He was such a mainstay of this show and I remember him in other shows like Classic Concentration, the Geography Bee and those World Vision infomercials in Canada. I actually watched an old episode of Classic Concentration the other day where there was more of a chance for him to demonstrate his wit and humour. Even a new host takes over, his contributions to the show will be acknowledged pretty much every episode going forward (maybe a “Trebek” trophy for the Tournament of Champions winner?…). He will be missed by all and he will not be forgotten.

  16. For a long time, I didn’t really appreciate how difficult a show Jeopardy is for the host. It’s the players, not the host, who determine where the game goes next (Anagrams for $200, or Classical Composers for $800?), and to a large extent they control the pacing of the show too.

    Alex deserves a lot of credit for doing the hosting as well as he did.

  17. As someone who has been watching Jeopardy my entire life, the news of Alex’s passing was devastating and felt like losing an old family friend. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends for their loss of such a great man.

    Rest in peace, Alex. You will be missed dearly. ❤️

  18. He was total class. RIP

  19. In a spooky coincidence, Art Fleming died the same way. Somebody will have a tough act to follow.

  20. John V. Bond | November 8, 2020 at 10:06 pm |

    I think we all feel like we’ve lost a family member. He was in our homes every night at dinner time. He was a class act and that’s very rare in this world of anger and resentment. The world was a better place with him in it and those of us who faithfully watched him are all better for having had him as our “friend”. Thanks to his family for sharing him with us. Rest In Peace Alex.

  21. Alex will be greatly missed by me and
    all my friends. We’ve been watching
    and admiring him on Jeopardy! since
    1984. It’s like losing a good friend.

  22. This caught me totally by surprise. Alex had been really sharp recently and we knew that he was filming new episodes. I guess that speaks to how profeesional and good at his job he was. He made it look so easy. Like everyone else here, I will really miss watching him.

  23. Truly a role model who will not be forgotten. We are fortunate he was able to pen his autobiography during his final year.

  24. Alex A role model to so many. Tuning in nightly was what we did every day for years along with half the nation. You didn’t have to be in the room to know it was Jeopardy time. You knew that “Voice”. Jeopardy may continue,but that
    “Voice” is gone forever. RIP

  25. A few of my favorite things about Alex Trebek during Jeopardy:
    1. sincerely thanking Johnny Gilbert and the audience
    2. joking with contestants as they tell anecdotes about themselves
    3. admitting his mistakes with the contestants’ questions (especially if it costs them money)
    4. encouraging the third-place contestants
    5. choking up when a contestant writes or says that they love him
    6. asking us to “please join us again tomorrow, won’t you?”

  26. I’m old enough I watched the original Jeopardy series with Art Fleming and remember the last clue answer in that series – ‘what is ‘Tomorrow is another Day’…?’ They hit a home run with Alex as the successor host when they started up again, and let’s hope they do as well again this time… Alex’s last show on December 25 will be a nice little Christmas present for us all….

  27. DOUG BOWDEN | November 9, 2020 at 4:43 pm |

    A class act for six decades on television. I was admirer even in the years leading up to J!, enjoying all the shows he hosted (Double Dare being a personal favorite). I hope the people that have the rights to all the shows he’s done continue to make them available to viewers for many years to come. Condolences to Jean and the family. Thank you Alex, the most true of true Daily Doubles!

  28. Karen Lampron | November 9, 2020 at 5:43 pm |

    Our family evenings for the last 30 years have always started with Alex and Jeopardy. A true gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with Alex’s family.

  29. He really made a difference in this world. He had so many groups phientropic causes. He was a polite interesting Canadian .

  30. FRANKLIN SHULOCK | November 10, 2020 at 1:19 pm |

    He was the man. He will be missed by countless Millions.

  31. There are not enough words nor answers in the world to know why..but I felt like Alex Trebek was a ‘grown ups version’ of Mr. Rogers..engaging our minds, expanding our areas of knowledge.., to end your work day ..and turn on Jeopardy..was a great gift. My condolences to his family. And thank you for sharing him.. every 30 minutes a night with us,..the general and most grateful public.

  32. I will not mourn Alex, I will celebrate his life. The quintessential,classic gentleman. He made a simple ‘game show’ into an essential part of millions of lives. He made us smile, he made us enjoy our day. We loved and respected him.
    He is irreplaceable and one of a kind. I do so hope the show will take it’s time in finding someone to host Jeopardy? Alex cannot be replaced. “Thank you, Alex, for giving us so much pleasure.” God Bless You,Bless your family. Rest In Peace.

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