Alex Trebek, the host of "Jeopardy!" for nearly 40 years, has died after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.
“‘Jeopardy!’ is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the official “Jeopardy!” Twitter account announced Sunday.
Trebek shocked the fans and his peers in the entertainment industry when he announced his pancreatic cancer diagnosis last March. Although he was in stage four, he vowed to continue to fight, and remained open about his journey, with regular updates posted on social media.
The 80-year-old spoke about experiencing severe bouts of depression while working to overcome the disease. Trebek noted he’d wondered if it was worth it to continue fighting, but he pressed on, after he said he realized doing the opposite would mean betraying God, his wife and other cancer patients.
And fight he did. As he had since 1984, Trebek continued to film the popular show that generations grew up watching. The 37th season of "Jeopardy!" premiered Sept.14.
Trebek was born in Ontario, Canada on July 22, 1940. He was in college when he realized he wanted to pursue a career in broadcasting and did so after graduating from the University of Ottawa.
He began his journey at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1961, working around the clock shifts.
In 1973, he moved to the United States and began hosting game shows on NBC. In 1984, he shot the pilot for "Jeopardy!" and hosted it ever since.
Tributes are filling up social media with fond memories of Trebek. Lil’ Nas X replied to the news with two broken heart emojis.
“Thank you Alex! We will miss seeing you in our living rooms every weekday evening. Rest peacefully now,” another person wrote.
“There are very few figures to be universally beloved and even fewer who really deserve it, and Alex Trebek is both. Rest in peace,” said another.
For his work on "Jeopardy!," Trebek received a slew of accolades, including honorary doctorates from the University of Ottawa and Fordham University.
He won seven Outstanding Game Show Host Emmys and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Daytime Emmys. In 2014 on his 6,829th episode of "Jeopardy!," Trebek broke the Guinness World Record for most game shows ever hosted.
Trebek filmed his last "Jeopardy!" episode on Oct. 29. The shows he most recently hosted will air through Dec. 25. There's no question they will serve as a final gift from a legendary host who brought so much joy and knowledge to millions.
Trebek is survived by his wife, Jean Currivan, and their two children, Matthew and Emily.