Alex Trebek, the long-time host of the American television quiz show, Jeopardy!, passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 80.
The producer of Jeopardy! and Sony Pictures led tributes to the "legend", writing in a statement: "For 37 amazing years, Alex Trebek was that comforting voice, that moment of escape and entertainment at the end of a long, hard day for millions of people around the world." We fully agree, and our hearts are broken for his family and friends.
Trebek's memoir, The Answer Is... published a few months ago. In his book, the longtime host reflected on his life and career in a memoir that is "an amusing and at times sobering series of vignettes — a quickly inhaled highlights reel of Trebek’s life."
Since debuting as the host of Jeopardy! in 1984, Alex Trebek had been something like a family member to millions of television viewers, bringing entertainment and education into their homes five nights a week. Last year, he made the stunning announcement that he had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. What followed was an incredible outpouring of love and kindness. Social media was flooded with messages of support, and the Jeopardy! studio received boxes of cards and letters offering guidance, encouragement, and prayers.
For over three decades, Trebek had resisted countless appeals to write a book about his life. Yet he was moved so much by all the goodwill, he felt compelled to finally share his story. "I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year," he wrote in The Answer Is... Reflections on My Life.
The book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek's thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek addressed the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, and his opinion of Will Ferrell's Saturday Night Live impersonation. The book uses a novel structure inspired by Jeopardy!, with each chapter title in the form of a question, and features dozens of never-before-seen photos that candidly capture Trebek over the years.
This wise, charming, and inspiring book is further evidence why Trebek has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment, and evidence as to why we will miss him so much.
From a Washington Post review, "Trebek is more than the face of Jeopardy! — he’s its heart. He’s so synonymous with the show, and the charm that’s made it an evening ritual, that even after a satisfying memoir, at least one question remains. How does the show continue without him?"
How will we?