Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died Sunday at the age of 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Surrounded by his loved ones at the time of his passing, the gameshow host had also spent his final days at home with his family, including his beloved wife Jean, according to Jeopardy! producer Mike Richards.
Appearing on the Today show Monday morning to reflect on Trebek's lasting legacy, Richards also revealed that Trebek had spent his final day exactly how he had wished: "sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon." Richards, who noted that Trebek "had a swing in his backyard that he loved" and that the host had "rebuilt it earlier this year," said that Trebek "was coherent" and "wasn't in pain." He added that "the fact that he had a nice final day makes all of us in the Jeopardy! family feel much better."
“The fact that he had a nice final day makes all of us in the ‘Jeopardy!’ family feel much better.” - Mike Richards on Alex Trebek pic.twitter.com/Zt61fKaeaN— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 9, 2020
As Richards noted, Trebek spent his final day exactly how he had envisioned it when reflecting on his life in his memoir, The Answer Is...Reflections On My Life. Written amid the coronavirus pandemic and his battle with pancreatic cancer, the memoir was published in July. In it, the game show host opened up about his health, revealing that he had spoken to his doctor about hospice care and facing death, writing, "When death happens, it happens. Why should I be afraid of it?" Stating that he hoped to be remembered as a "good and loving husband and father, and also as a decent man who did his best to help people perform at their best," Trebek also opened up about how he hoped to spend his final day.
"Here I am wanting to enjoy what might be the last of my days, and, what, I'm supposed to just stay at home and sit in a chair and stare into space? Actually, that doesn't sound too bad," Trebek wrote, according to USA Today. "Yep, I'll be perfectly content if that's how my story ends: sitting on the swing with the woman I love, my soul mate, and our two wonderful children nearby."
Jeopardy! confirmed on Sunday that Trebek died, the news coming a little more than a year after he confirmed in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In July of this year, the host had revealed that he was undergoing experimental treatments but would not continue if the current round failed. He is survived by his wife Jean, whom he married in 1990, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. His final episode of Jeopardy! will air on Christmas Day.