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The Devastating Death Of Alex Trebek

The beloved host of Jeopardy, Alex Trebek, died Sunday, November 8, at the age of 80 after battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer for more than a year, as confirmed by TMZ and Jeopardy's official Twitter page. "Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends," the show's official Twitter account tweeted. "Thank you, Alex."

Trebek first shared the news of his cancer diagnosis with the world in March 2019 via a moving video message filmed on the Jeopardy set. At the time, he vowed, "I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working." And that's exactly what he did. According to TMZ, the game show host continued taping episodes until October 29, just days before his passing. As a result, his final episode will not air December 25, Christmas day. 

Although he wasn't the original host of Jeopardy — that title goes to Art Fleming — Trebek's name was synonymous with the challenging game show. He began hosting when the series was syndicated in 1984, and ultimately spent 36 years reading out answers to questions that even the most dedicated fan would sometimes find impossible. Thanks to his sly sense of humor and unwavering dedication to the series, Trebek went on to win seven Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show host over the course of his long career.

Alex Trebek was candid about his battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer

Fans the world over are mourning Trebek, but the iconic host was always candid about his diagnosis and he was quick to tell reporters that he had lived a good life. In an October 2019 interview with the Canadian network CTV, he said, "I'm not afraid of dying. I've lived a good life, a full life, and I'm nearing the end of that life if it happens, why should I be afraid of that?"

In July 2020, Trebek released his memoir The Answer Is ... Reflections on My Life, which included his candid thoughts about battling cancer, continuing to host Jeopardy, and being keenly aware that he was living out his final days in a COVID-19 reality. Although he did express some frustration that he wouldn't be able to check any more trips off of his bucket list or engage in any big family gatherings, he shared that he had made peace with the idea that his life would likely end quietly.

"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, as reported by 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."

Trebek is survived by his wife Jean Currivan Trebek, and their children, Emily and Matthew. In addition to being remembered as a loving father and husband, the late host will also be remembered as a man who valued intelligence, humor, and curiosity — and one who dedicated his life to sharing those values with the world.