It’s the end of an era. Alex Trebek, the silver haired, sharp-minded host of the classic game show Jeopardy! has died at the age of 80.
The show confirmed the news of Trebek’s death on Sunday, sharing on Twitter that he passed peacefully early in the morning.
Trebek had been battling stage four pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis he revealed to the public in 2019, after which he took a hiatus from the production stage he had helmed since 1984 to pursue treatment.
In July of this year, he told the New York Times that he was considering stopping treatment. “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,” Trebek said.
Fans of the trivia show treasured the host for his sharp intelligence and the well-honed ease with which he would call out quiz questions and interact with contestants. Just this week, the most recent Jeopardy! champion, Burt Thakur, was seen telling Trebek that he learned how to speak English from watching the host.
“My grandfather, who raised me, I used to sit on his lap and watch you everyday,” said Thakur to Trebek. “So thank you very much.”
Trebek was also reminded of the many lives he touched from the Jeopardy! stage when he initially revealed his cancer diagnosis and received an outpouring of love from fans.
“I just want to take a few moments to say thanks to the — believe it or not — hundreds of thousands of people who have sent in tweets, texts, emails, cards, and letters wishing me well following my recent health announcement,” Trebek said in a video message last year. “I’m a lucky guy.”
Born in Ottawa, Canada, Trebek moved to the U.S. for his hosting career and spent the last years of his life in Los Angeles, California, reports NBC News.
He was the recipient of five daytime Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2011. Trebek is survived by his wife and two adult children.