The world lost an icon when Alex Trebek lost his battle with pancreatic cancer over the weekend. Over his decades as the host of Jeopardy!, he was a constant in homes throughout the world. He had a profound effect on many, and the outpouring of grief and admiration for the late TV host has been massive. You even saw the love for Trebek throughout the filming of his final season of the show.
The Jeopardy GOAT himself Ken Jennings, long thought to be an heir apparent to Trebek, said the icon was 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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/CdHCcbqmp2
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 8, 2020
Singer Don McLean shared that he performed at Trebek’s Christmas party in 2019, which the TV host called a “bucket list moment.” McLean said he was elegant and dignified and that it was a ‘joyous’ occasion.’
Alex asked if I would come and sing for him & his Jeopardy family at his annual Christmas party last year. I was on his “bucket list” he told me.
It was at a lovely Italian restaurant near his home. pic.twitter.com/gC6rkKyXFw
— Don McLean (@donmclean) November 8, 2020
James Holzhauer, another Jeopardy champ, said one of the great privileges of his life was to spend time with Trebek while he fought the battle of his life. “You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex,” he wrote.
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. https://t.co/LLoUASRMa9
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) November 8, 2020
Even NASA sent along condolences, thanking Trebek for helping to recruit the next generation of astronauts.
We’re saddened by the passing of legendary @Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. Earlier this year, he helped us recruit the next generation of astronauts – a testament to his dedication to challenging us to expand our knowledge. pic.twitter.com/Z4vwbLy1yn
— NASA (@NASA) November 8, 2020
Fellow game show host Pat Sajak also had fond words for Trebek.
Alex Trebek’s courage, grace and strength inspired millions and awed those of us who knew him. A tremendous loss for his family, friends, co-workers and countless viewers. I was honored to be a friend and a part of his professional family for all these years. A very sad day.
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) November 8, 2020
As his final days drew closer after his diagnosis, Trebek once said how he’d want his final Jeopardy episode to go. He said on an ABC special about Jeopardy:
“What I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want.’ And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me…then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.’”
Alex, until we meet again, God bless and thank you.