“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the show’s Twitter account confirmed on Sunday. “Thank you, Alex.”
Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings reacted to the news via Twitter writing, “Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him.”
Trebek announced his stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March 2019 and said he hoped to host the iconic game show as long as he physically could.
“Just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer,” Trebek said at the time. “Now, normally the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this and I’m going to keep working and with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease.”
The Canada native admitted during an ABC News special in January that he struggled with “moments of great pain” and “massive attacks of great depression” since his diagnosis. However, his wife, Jean Trebek, helped him through the challenging times.
“But I brushed that aside quickly because that would have been a massive betrayal — a betrayal of my wife and soulmate, Jean, who has given her all to help me survive,” he said at the time. “It would have been a betrayal of other cancer patients who have looked to me as an inspiration and a cheerleader of sorts of the value of living and hope. And it would certainly have been a betrayal of my faith in God and the millions of prayers that had been said on my behalf.”
Trebek admitted he wasn’t “afraid of dying” in his 2020 memoir, The Answer Is …Reflections on My Life, noting that he had spoken with his family about stopping treatment if chemotherapy wasn’t successful.
“Quality of life was an important consideration. … One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral as part of the eulogy is, ‘He was taken from us too soon'” he wrote. “I’m about to turn 80. I’ve lived a good, full life, and I’m nearing the end of it. I know that. The only thing that might bother me is if I pass on before I get to have grandchildren. (Hint, hint.)”
Trebek is survived by Jean, their son Matthew, 30, and their daughter Emily, 27.
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