Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak mourned the death of fellow game show host Alex Trebek on Sunday, calling Trebek's death a "tremendous loss." Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 36 years, and for most of that time, the show aired right alongside Wheel of Fortune. Trebek died at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Alex Trebek’s courage, grace, and strength inspired millions and awed those of us who knew him," Sajak tweeted Sunday afternoon. "A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers, and countless viewers. I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day." Sajak's co-star Vanna White also shared a tribute on Instagram, alongside photos of the trio together. "I will cherish the many memories I have shared with Alex Trebek that date back well before either of our careers took off," White wrote in part, later adding that there "will never be another Alex Trebek and he will truly be missed."
Alex Trebek’s courage, grace and strength inspired millions and awed those of us who knew him. A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers and countless viewers. I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) November 8, 2020
Trebek died with his family and close friends by his side Sunday morning. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and frequently kept fans up to date on every step of the battle. He continued hosting Jeopardy!, taping his last episodes on Oct. 29. His final episode will air on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Trebek hosted more than 8,200 Jeopardy! episodes, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. His family is asking for donations in his memory to be made to World Vision.
Sajak and Trebek became friends over the years, as they both anchored two American television institutions for more than 30 years each. After Trebek announced his cancer diagnosis, Sajak and his family reached out on Twitter. "The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family," Sajak wrote at the time. "But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex."
Sajak and White were not the only game show hosts to reach out after Trebek's death. The Price Is Right host Drew Carey also shared his condolences on Twitter. Carey shared the Jeopardy! team's announcement, calling Trebek "such a kind man" and "truly a blessing to the world."