Alex Trebek, the host of the “Jeopardy!” gameshow since 1984, has died.
“Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex,” the gameshow wrote on its Twitter account.
Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex. pic.twitter.com/Yk2a90CHIM
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 8, 2020
The TV icon, whose avuncular personality and biting wit made the daily show a must-see for millions of Americans, announced in March 2019 that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He went through chemotherapy after the diagnosis but said he had no plans to retire.
Trebek stayed on as host for another full year and talked openly about “massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on.”
In one statement at the end of a show, Trebek noted that the odds of surviving a second year with pancreatic cancer were just 7%, but said he hoped to be an outlier on that statistic.
He stopped taping his shows on Oct. 29, and “Jeopardy!” said his episodes will air through Dec. 25th.
In July, Trebek said he planned to stop receiving treatments for his pancreatic cancer if his current chemotherapy regimen fails.
Trebek, who was born in Sudbury, Canada, discussed the next steps of his battle with stage-4 pancreatic cancer with The New York Times in an article.
“Yesterday morning my wife came to me and said, ‘How are you feeling?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I want to die.’ It was that bad,” Trebek told the Times. “There comes a time where you have to make a decision as to whether you want to continue with such a low quality of life, or whether you want to just ease yourself into the next level. It doesn’t bother me in the least.”
He said taping his game show was “the strangest thing. It is some kind of an elixir,” he said.
Initial rounds of treatment showed promise, reducing his tumors by 50% and showing “mind-boggling” progress toward remission. He said he had “tears of joy” when he heard the news.
“I’ve got a couple million people out there who have expressed their good thoughts, their positive energy directed towards me, and their prayers,” he said in a May 2019 interview. “I told the doctors, this has to be more than just the chemo, and they agreed it could very well be an important part of this.”
“I’ve got a lot of love out there headed in my direction and a lot of prayer, and I will never, ever minimize the value of that,” Trebek added.
Trebek’s initial progress was undone when his condition began to worsen. He announced in a video update that his cancer was not in remission and had come back.
“The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer is 18%. I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker,” Trebek began in a March 4 video.
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