George Alexander Trebek, the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! since 1984, passed away from pancreatic cancer Sunday.
The official Twitter account of ‘Jeopardy!’ posted Sunday afternoon announcing the news, saying Trebek was surrounded by friends and family when he passed away.
Originally born and raised in Sudbury, he capped off his career with being the highly recognizable long-time game show.
The host revealed he was suffering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in a video posted to the show’s official social media channels on March 6, 2019.
“Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer,” he said. “Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I’m going to fight this, and I’m going to keep working.
“And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers, also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” he said.
He then joked that he has to keep working due to contractual obligations.
“Truth told, I have to! Because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years! So help me. Keep the faith and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”
Trebek was a pop culture icon, best known as the long-time host of the TV game show Jeopardy! He began his broadcasting career at the CBC, where he hosted the music variety program Music Hop (1963–64) and the popular teen quiz show Reach for the Top (1966–73). He has won five Daytime Emmy Awards from 30 nominations for Outstanding Game Show Host, and he holds the Guinness World Record for the most game shows hosted by the same presenter. An Officer of the Order of Canada, he has received a Peabody Award and several lifetime achievement and hall of fame honours, including stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame.
He did return home and was honoured to be recognized by the city and many ‘hometown’ fans a year ago in May, who encouraged him in his battle against the disease.
Photo of Alex Trebek with Sudbury MP, Paul Lefebvre on a visit home in May 2019. Photo supplied by Paul Lefebvre