The official Jeopardy! Twitter account confirmed the news of host Alex Trebek's passing on Sunday afternoon. The show's social media page posted a photo of Trebek on the set of the beloved quiz show with a smile on his face. The mournful message included made the news of Trebek's passing real for many 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," the tweet read. In no time, the post picked up hundreds of thousands of likes and many retweets as well. Fans responded with their grief and also with their fond memories of Trebek. Many were heartbroken by the news.
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
Trebek passed away on Sunday, over a year and a half after he first announced that he had been diagnosed with Stave 4 pancreatic cancer. Already famed for his reserved demeanor, Trebek took a calm approach to his illness that many viewers found comforting, in a way. He tried to assuage alarm among Jeopardy! fans and take the process one step at a time.
In the months that followed, Trebek never needed to step down from his role hosting Jeopardy!, even as he underwent chemo therapy and other treatments. He gave regular updates on his health status, slowly becoming a beacon of hope for other cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their families.
While he remained calm and collected on screen, Trebek was not shy about the realities of his disease. He admitted to having "massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on," but said that he kept going for the sake of his wife, his family, God and other cancer patients. Even this was a comfort to other patients, in a way — knowing that they were not alone in their feelings.
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Trebek was a TV icon for decades before his passing. He began his career in Canada with the CBC, working his way up to become a radio announcer in 1963. From there, he continued to rise through the ranks, often on light-hearted shows with music, quiz games and classical music performances. Finally, in 1973 he moved to the U.S.
Trebek hosted eight other game shows on TV before arriving at Jeopardy! and appeared in two unsold TV pilots. Finally, he found his niche in Jeopardy! in 1984 and held onto it for nearly four decades. The show has evolved over the years, and Trebek has evolved with it, but fans have always come back for that singular quality Trebek provides. So far, there is no word on what will happen to the show without him.