Alex's Trebek's last message for 6abc and the Delaware Valley

6abc Digital Staff Image
Monday, November 9, 2020
This was Alex Trebek's 2020 holiday message for 6abc viewers, recorded in late October.
Alex recorded this holiday message for us in late October

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Alex Trebek, who presided over the beloved quiz show "Jeopardy!" for more than 30 years with dapper charm and a touch of schoolmaster strictness, died Sunday. He was 80.

In late October, Trebek recorded this message for the 6abc Thanksgiving Day Celebration.

Of course, we had no idea that we would all lose this lovely man within a couple of weeks.

His final message for us: "Stay well everyone, have a happy Thanksgiving and a great holiday season."

Trebek, who announced in 2019 that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, died at his Los Angeles home, surrounded by family and friends, "Jeopardy!" studio Sony said.

The Canadian-born host, who made a point of informing fans about his health directly, spoke in a calm, even tone as he revealed his illness and hope for a cure in a video posted March 6, 2019.

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In the video, Trebek said he was joining the 50,000 other Americans who receive such a diagnosis each year and that he recognized that the prognosis was not encouraging.

But Trebek said he intended to fight it and keep working, even joking that he needed to beat the disease because his "Jeopardy!" contract ran for three more years. Less than a week later, he opened the show with a message acknowledging the outpouring of kind words and prayers he'd received.

Born July 22, 1940, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Trebek was sent off to boarding school by his Ukrainian father and French-Canadian mother when he was barely in his teens.

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'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek gets emotional over contestant's answer on November 11, 2019.

After graduating high school, he spent a summer in Cincinnati to be close to a girlfriend, then returned to Canada to attend college. After earning a philosophy degree from the University of Ottawa, he went to work for the Canadian Broadcasting Co., starting as a staff announcer and eventually becoming a radio and TV reporter.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1997. Trebek's first marriage, to Elaine Callei, ended in divorce. In 1990, he married Jean Currivan, and they had two children, Emily and Matthew. Trebek lived with his family in Los Angeles' Studio City section, not far from Hollywood.

Trebek is survived by his wife, their two children and his stepdaughter, Nicky.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.