At the top of Monday’s Jeopardy!, executive producer Mike Richards paid tribute to Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer Sunday at the age of 80. Trebek began hosting the show in 1984, and throughout his 36-year career, he won over many fans.
“This is an enormous loss for our staff, crew, for his family, and for his millions of fans,” said Richards. “He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family.”
Richards also revealed that there are still 35 episodes yet to air, some of which Trebek taped less than two weeks prior, and that the longtime host wanted them to be broadcast. In an interview in January, Trebek said that he has been rehearsing a message that he will deliver on his final episode.
"I will say my goodbyes,” said Trebek, “And I will tell people, 'Don't ask me who is going to replace me, because I have no say in that whatsoever. But I'm sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me for the past 30, however many years, then they will be a success, and the show will continue being a success.'”
Trebek was so admired and loved that thousands of celebrities and fans, including A-list actors, legendary musicians, and even former U.S. presidents publicly honored him.
While Trebek collected several Emmys and became a pop culture icon during his career, he will most be remembered for the joy he brought to households and televisions every weekday.
Jeopardy! is a syndicated program; visit Jeopardy.com or check you local listings for TV schedule.
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