"Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex," tweeted Jeopardy!'s Twitter account this morning. The five-time Emmy-winning and Peabody-winning host of Jeopardy! since 1984 battled Stage 4 pancreatic cancer since announcing the news in March 2019. Trebek spoke extensively about his cancer treatment, especially over the summer as he turned 80 in July while promoting his memoir, The Answer Is . . .: Reflections on My Life. “My doctor has told me that he is counting on me celebrating two years of survivorship past the diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and that two years happens in February,” Trebek told Good Morning America in July. "As a host, Mr. Trebek was the essence of durability. In the decades that he had captained Jeopardy! more than 400 other game shows came and went," Katharine Q. Seelye writes in Trebek's New York Times obituary. “Jeopardy! endured, with millions of Americans organizing their weeknights around the highbrow program in ritualistic fashion, shouting out the questions to their televisions as Mr. Trebek enunciated the answers with his impeccable diction. One of the chief appeals of the show, apart from its intellectual challenge, was its consistency. Over the years, its format stayed reliably familiar, as did Mr. Trebek, though he trimmed back his bushy head of hair, grew grayer and occasionally sported a mustache, beard or goatee. Otherwise he was a steady and predictable host — a no-nonsense presence, efficient in his role and comforting in his orderliness." Trebek was all business, writes Emily Langer in his Washington Post obituary. "Mr. Trebek, the self-made son of a hotel chef, had no sequined co-presenter to match Vanna White on host Pat Sajak’s Wheel of Fortune. His show neither attracted nor allowed histrionics, no galloping, shrieking contestants such as those summoned to 'Come on down!' on The Price Is Right with Bob Barker. Even the Jeopardy! theme song, one of the most recognizable jingles on television, was restrained in its dainty dings. There was no 'hot seat' like the chair for contestants on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with Regis Philbin — a show that Jeopardy! purists disdained for its elementary subject matter and inflated prize money. On Jeopardy! there were only questions and answers — or rather, answers and then questions — leavened by the briefest of banter before Mr. Trebek directed his three contestants back to business."
Ken Jennings pays tribute to Trebek: "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. Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family—which, in a way, included millions of us."
James Holzhauer on Trebek: "It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex."
Around the Horn's Tony Reali: It's okay to be affected by Trebek's passing: "The most reliable thing in the medium of television, maybe the most reliable thing anywhere & everywhere," tweeted the ESPN host. "Every night you knew exactly where he would be and exactly how he would be. Welcoming. He was home...It’s OK to be affected by the passing of someone you didn’t know personally; part of you can pass, too. To be affected by loss is compassion in its most pure form, 'to suffer with', quite literally. And in that way we we carry all we have lost. For me, the link between Trebek and 'the dream' was a straight line. I wanted to be like him, I wanted to be on TV every day, I wanted to host, and correct and celebrate intellect and completion with charm and aplomb. But more than that, the link is straight to home. The line to my Pop and Ma, all of us. At home, competing. It was more than ok to be a nerd, it was required and envied! It’s my dad man, still every night, playing and dominating every clue until recently when they went heavy 2000s pop culture. Trebek and my father and my favorite teachers, that’s home and heart. My deepest condolence to his family and friends and colleagues at @Jeopardy. May all who had him in their lives feel his spirit forever."
Trebek loved his job, even off-camera: "My favorite thing about Trebek is how he handled filming breaks," says Scott Meslow. "As crew prepped contestants for the next round, no one would've blame him for disappearing backstage. Instead, he'd always walk out and chat with the audience, joking around and answering any questions they had. He loved the job, and he never did it halfway. Off-camera he was slyer and funnier than you'd expect but — somehow! — just as intelligent. He was a beacon of of intelligence, consistency, and longevity in a medium that, broadly, trends away from all of those things. There is only one answer to 'What is the best game show of all time?' and 'Who is the best game show host of all time?'"
Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak and Vanna White remember Trebek: "It was an honor for me to be a part of his professional family for nearly 40 years. His strength and courage and grace during his recent health struggles inspired countless others. Alex was truly one of a kind," said Sajak. White added: "I will cherish the many memories I have shared with Alex Trebek that date back well before either of our careers took off. I will always be in awe of the way he faced the battle he fought so valiantly and I'm devastated to lose my longtime friend."