Alex Trebek: The Man Who Left a Legacy

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Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was beloved by all before his recent passing.

Kalea Reeves, Staff Writer

On November 8, just this past Sunday, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek peacefully passed away at 80 years old, surrounded by his friends and family in his home. He was a television icon for decades, and the entire country mourns the loss of this great man.

In March of 2019, Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. A flood of support came from fans and former Jeopardy! contestants, but he made sure the show went on.

“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,” longest-running Jeopardy!contestant, Ken Jennings, said.

Even though he was terminally ill, Trebeck continued to record shows. A true showman, as it was unnoticeable in his demeanor that he just experienced a huge life.

“It all changes suddenly [when I’m recording]. I’m myself again. I feel good. No matter how I feel before the show, when I get out there it’s all forgotten because there’s a show to be done. Work to do,” Trebek said.

In 1984, producer and television host Merv Griffin chose Trebek to host the new revival of the Jeopardy! game show. Since then, he hosted the show for 37 seasons and recorded more than 8,200 episodes—more than any other TV show game host in history.

Over the course of the program, Trebek won five Daytime Emmy awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 2011 and a Peabody Award for “encouraging, celebrating and rewarding knowledge.”  

Trebek was one of the quintessential parts of Jeopardy!, yet the show must go on. He had taped episodes up until his last weeks, so he’ll still be on the screen until Christmas. Producers of the show are actively looking for a new host, and have mentioned people such as Ken Jennings, ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, LA Kings hockey announcer Alex Faust and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates, but none could match the iconic Trebek.

Jeopardy! has been part of so many American families’ lives, and the passing of Alex Trebek will forever change the TV world. No matter how the show proceeds, Trebek will have left quite the legacy.