The television personality and beloved presenter of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, died on Sunday after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.
“Jeopardy!” is sad to announce that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully early in the morning at home, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” wrote the long-running game show in a message posted on social media around 12:30 ET.
Jeopardy! announces with sadness that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you very much, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
– The danger! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
Trebek began his tenure as host of Jeopardy! in 1984, when the show began its revival. He became an integral part of the popular quiz series on air for several decades and decided to continue as host even after his stage 4 cancer diagnosis early last year. Trebek announced the diagnosis in May 2019.
Shortly after the news of Trebek’s death was announced on Sunday, the commemoration of his life began to flow.
“Words cannot even describe what a tremendous loss this is for our JEOPARDY! family,” wrote Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Television Distribution, the distributor of the game show program, in a statement. “Alex was not only a television icon, but also one of the most sincere, kind and caring people you could ever meet. The way he openly and courageously fought cancer while continuing to host the show was a true inspiration.
Numerous celebrities, journalists and fans shared similar feelings about Trebek’s professional success and character in the hour following the announcement of Jeapordy! that confirmed his passing.
“I was obsessed with Jeopardy when I grew up as a nerdy kid in Ohio,” John Legend tweeted. The musician added: “I have loved and adored Alex Trebek since I can remember. What an iconic career. RIP Alex Trebek.”
I was obsessed with Jeopardy when I was growing up a nerdy kid in Ohio. I have loved and worshipped Alex Trebek since I can remember. What an iconic career. RIP Alex Trebek.
– John Legend (@johnlegend) November 8, 2020
In another commemorative speech, Ryan Reynolds recalled his interactions with Trebek when the host filmed his cameo appearance in Free Guy, an upcoming comedy that Reynolds co-produced. Trebek can be seen briefly in the trailer of the film.
“Alex Trebek was kind enough to make a short appearance for our film Free Guy last year, despite his struggle,” the actor wrote. “He was kind and funny. He was not only curious, unwavering, generous, reassuring and of course Canadian. We love you, Alex. And will always love you.” Like Trebek, Reynolds is Canadian and American.
Alex Trebek was kind enough to make a short film for our film Free Guy last year despite his struggle. He was kind and funny. He was not only curious, unwavering, generous, reassuring and of course Canadian. We love you, Alex. And will always love you.
– Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) November 8, 2020
Ken Jennings, the famous candidate for Jeopardy!, paid tribute to the host: “Alex was not only the best in what he had ever done. He was also a lovable and deeply decent man, and I am grateful for every minute I was allowed to spend with him.
Alex was not only the best in what he ever did. He was also a kind and deeply decent man, and I am grateful for every minute I was allowed to spend with him. pic.twitter.com/CdHCcbqmp2
– Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
In addition to the countless messages from Jeopardy! viewers flooding Twitter in the early afternoon, reporters exchanged anecdotes about previous conversations with Trebek, some of them in interviews.
“Note: A class number. The consummate professional. Came into our living rooms for nearly four decades. A friendly and generous gentleman. The answer: Who was Alex Trebek,” wrote Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, co-host of The View, who appears in commentary roles on several networks, including CNN, ABC News, and Telemundo, in a commemorative tweet that played out the Jeopardy! format.
“Rest in peace, sir,” she concluded.
Note: A class number. The consummate professional. Came into our living rooms for nearly four decades. A kind and generous gentleman.
Answer: Answer: Who was Alex Trebek
Rest in peace, sir. pic.twitter.com/XNku94jn7s
– Ana Navarro-CÃ¡rdenas (@anananavarro) November 8, 2020
Since his cancer diagnosis, Trebek has been providing Jeopardy! fans with regular health updates while