A heartbreaking and difficult year got even harder for game show fans on Sunday when reports confirmed the worst fears of Jeopardy! fans. TMZ reported Sunday that legendary game show host Alex Trebek had died at 80 of pancreatic cancer.
Trebek was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2019, and underwent a number of treatments in order to fight the diagnosis and extend his time hosting Jeopardy! The beloved host had worried his cancer would ultimately force his retirement from the Jeopardy! soundstage, though he passed away before ever formally announcing his retirement.
The show confirmed the news shortly afterward on Twitter, sparking an outpouring of grief and appreciation for the longtime host of the trivia show.
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
Trebek’s death comes in a year where Jeopardy! was as popular as ever. The show’s Greatest Of All Time Tournament drew high primetime ratings and an autobiography, The Answer Is…, was released earlier in the summer. Though not the only host in the show’s history, Trebek’s impact on Jeopardy! is undeniable and for many fans it’s impossible to imagine it without the Canadian at the helm.
Various stars of Jeopardy! started to mourn his loss online on Sunday, and the coming days will likely give us more details about what will happen to the show moving forward. But Sunday, though inevitable, served as a shock to fans and contestants alike.