On Sunday the official Jeopardy! Twitter account announced that the show’s longtime host, Alex Trebek, had died that morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.
Trebek made a longtime career as a television host, first in his native Canada with the CBC and later on a host of American shows and game shows. His most iconic job, however, was as the host of the popular quiz show, Jeopardy!, where he was nominated for 37 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning seven.
Trebek’s warm demeanor, droll sense of humor, and deep intelligence made him beloved for millions of fans of the show. This loss feels deep for many of us, I believe, because of how much time we spent with the man, and how much so many of us trusted him.
He took a difficult quiz show with a weird, answers-as-questions format, and made it warm, familial, and surprisingly funny. That show is nothing without Trebek — under someone with less talent, Jeopardy! would have been too confusing, too high brow, too slow. With him, it became one of the most successful and long-running television shows of all time.
Fans and past contestants were devastated to hear the news: