‘Jeopardy!’ pays tribute to Alex Trebek in its first episode since his death

(LOS ANGELES) —Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who died Sunday following a battle with pancreatic cancer, was honored during the quiz show Monday.

Executive producer Mike Richards delivered an emotional message at the top of the show on behalf of the Jeopardy! family, memorializing Trebek and thanking him for all that he did.

Trebek began hosting Jeopardy! in 1984, and after announcing his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2019, he continued to be at the helm of the quiz show until last month. His final day in the studio was October 29, and episodes featuring Trebek will continue to air until December 25.

“Over the weekend, we lost our beloved host Alex Trebek. This is an enormous loss for our staff and crew, for his family and for his millions of fans. He loved this show and everything it stood for,” Richards said. “He will forever be an inspiration for his constant desire to learn, his kindness and for his love of his family. We will air his final 35 episodes as they were shot. That’s what he wanted. On behalf of everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!,’ thank you for everything Alex.”

Richards then began the show the way Trebek always did: “This is Jeopardy!” he said.

Surrounded by friends and family, Trebek, 80, died at home in Los Angeles on Sunday, following a 20-month battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In the wake of his death, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), a nonprofit organization focused on the disease, reported that it has seen a 450% increase in traffic to its website and more than $55,000 in donations. Last year, Trebek appeared in a public service announcement for the group.

“Alex Trebek, through his bravery and willingness to share his journey about his pancreatic cancer, has been a true ambassador and hero, fighting the disease and blazing a better path for many as a result,” PanCAN said in a statement Monday.

By Lesley Messer
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

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