Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer
Trebek says he is going to fight the diagnosis and continue working, planning to beat the low survival rate statistics for the disease.
He released a video sharing the news. You can watch below:
"Hi everyone, I have some news to share with all of you and it’s in keeping with my longtime policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base. I also wanted to prevent you from reading or hearing some overblown or inaccurate reports regarding my health. So therefore, I wanted to be the one to pass along this information.
Now, just like 50,000 other people in the United States each year, this week I was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 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. 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. Thank you."
Trebek has been the host of Jeopardy! since 1984. According to Trebek's biography on the Jeopardy! website:
"Trebek has won five Daytime Emmy® awards for Outstanding Game Show Host as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He holds a Guinness World Records™ record for Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter; he has hosted nearly 8,000 episodes of JEOPARDY! (and counting). In 2013, he was named a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, and in 2018, he and JEOPARDY! were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Broadcasting Hall of Fame. Trebek and JEOPARDY! received a 2011 Peabody Award for “encouraging, celebrating and rewarding knowledge.”
Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Trebek attended the University of Ottawa, where he earned a degree in philosophy. After university, Trebek worked for the CBC, covering national news and special events for radio and television. He made his American television debut in 1973 as the host of NBC’s game show “Wizard of Odds,” and after several other hosting roles, he became the host of JEOPARDY!
He is one of the few celebrities to have been honored with a coveted star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2017, Alex was named an officer of the Order of Canada, his native country’s second-highest civilian honor.
Trebek has maintained strong ties to the University of Ottawa: he has created scholarships, sponsored a Lecture Series, and supported the construction of Alumni Hall, which, in May 2015, was named in his honor. He was conferred an Honorary Doctorate, and he received the Meritas Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement, the top award bestowed upon University of Ottawa alumni.
He is a long-time supporter of World Vision and has traveled to many third-world countries on behalf of that organization.
Trebek lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jean. They have two adult children: Emily, a real estate developer in Los Angeles, and Matthew, the owner of OSO, a Mexican restaurant, and Lucille’s, a restaurant/bar, both in Harlem, New York."
CBS 58 recently did a one-on-one interview with Trebek last month. You can find that report here.
In the report, Trebek mentions he a big sports fan and said having Aaron Rodgers on for Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2015 was a treat. You can see our report on Rodgers' appearance in 2015 below:
As mentioned in the announcement about his diagnosis, Trebek renewed his contract with Sony Pictures Television through 2022 in October.
Fellow game show host Pat Sajak took to Twitter to send his well-wishes to Trebek on his diagnosis.
The Sajak family is deeply saddened to hear of Alex Trebek’s struggle with cancer. Our hearts go out to him and his family. But there is no one I know who is stronger and more determined, and I would never bet against him. We, and the entire country, are pulling for you, Alex.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) March 6, 2019
According to CNN, Jeopardy! first went on the air in 1964. Trebek became the host when the show was brought back for a syndicated version in 1984. The show's first host, actor Art Fleming, died in 1995 at the age of 70. According to Fleming's family, the cause was pancreatic cancer.
Jeopardy! airs at 6:00 p.m. on CBS 58. The top-rated quiz show on television holds the record for the most Emmy awards won by a TV game show, 34, as well as a Peabody Award.