Alex Trebek, the longtime host of the answer-and-question game show Jeopardy! has died at age 80, according to a statement from the show. “Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the statement posted on Twitter read.
Trebek was born in Sudbury, Canada, on July 22nd, 1940. His career began at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1961. He moved to the US in the 1970s where he hosted game shows including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, The $128,000 Question, and The New High Rollers before he landed the Jeopardy! hosting gig in 1984.
He hosted more than 7,000 episodes of the show, winning five Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding game show host. Trebek received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2011.
Ken Jennings, the former contestant who holds the record for the longest Jeopardy! winning streak, offered his condolences Sunday. “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,” Jennings tweeted.
Trebek was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, which he announced in March 2019, not long after he renewed his contract to host the show through 2022. He underwent chemotherapy treatment but continued to appear on Jeopardy!
“Normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this,” Trebek said in 2019. “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.”
Trebek’s last day in the studio was October 29th, according to Variety, and the last episodes with him as the host will continue to air through December 25th.
Update November 8th 1:10PM ET: Added comment from Ken Jennings