Alex Trebek honored by ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer: ‘He will forever be an inspiration’

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 started 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 just taped less than two weeks prior, and that the longtime host wanted them to air. In an interview in January, Trebek said that he has been rehearsing a message that he will deliver on his final episode.

32 PHOTOS

Alex Trebek through the years

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TO TELL THE TRUTH

Pictured: Host Alex Trebek

(Photo by Joey Del Valle/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

HIGH ROLLERS

Pictured: Host Alex Trebek

(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

CLASSIC CONCENTRATION — Season 2

Pictured: Co-host Marjorie Goodson, host Alex Trebek

(Photo by Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

HIGH ROLLERS

Pictured: Host Alex Trebek, dice girl Ruta Lee

(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

CLASSIC CONCENTRATION — Season 2

Pictured: Co-host Marjorie Goodson, host Alex Trebek

(Photo by Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

CHEERS — ‘What is… Cliff Clavin?’ Episode 14

Pictured: John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin, Alex Trebek as Himself

(Kim Gottlieb-Walker/NBCU Photo Bank)

HIGH ROLLERS

Pictured: Host Alex Trebek

(Photo by Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 01: Zsa Zsa Gabor and Alex Trebek (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Game Show Host Alex Trebek and actress Beverly Sassoon attending ‘Scott Newman Benefit Dinner’ on November 8, 1985 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Alex Trebek, circa 1984. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

CLASSIC CONCENTRATION — Season 2 — Pictured: Host Alex Trebek (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Alex Trebek attends Third Annual Franciscan Games on September 30, 1989 at Forest Hills Stadium in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

CHEERS — ‘What is… Cliff Clavin?’ Episode 14

 Air Date 01/18/1990

Pictured: Alex Trebek as Himself, John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin

(Kim Gottlieb-Walker/NBCU Photo Bank)

Canadian American television star Alex Trebek has been the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! since 1984.

(Photo by ASTRID RIECKEN For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Host of ‘Jeopardy!’ Alex Trebek attends a press conference to discuss the upcoming Man V. Machine ‘Jeopardy!’ competition at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center on January 13, 2011 in Yorktown Heights, New York.

(Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Alex Trebek hosts the 2012 National Geographic Bee Championship Round at the National Geographic Society on May 24, 2012 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

“BIG FAN” 

 Three football buffs step up to challenge Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, and special guest Alex Trebek stops by to give host Andy Richter a few pointers.

(Nicole Wilder/ABC via Getty Images) 

Alex Trebek speaks during a rehearsal before a taping of Jeopardy! Power Players Week at DAR Constitution Hall on April 21, 2012 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Alex Trebek attends the ”SNL 40th Anniversary Special’ at Rockfeller Plaza in New York City. 

(Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)

TV game show host Alex Trebek is interviewed at the ‘Jeopardy!’ Hall of Fame Sony Pictures Studios tour ribbon cutting ceremony at Sony Pictures Studios on September 20, 2011 in Culver City, California.

(Photo by Beck Starr/WireImage)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 20: ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek attends the 2016 USO Gala on October 20, 2016 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

TO TELL THE TRUTH – Ashley Graham, Jenna Elfman, Donald Faison and Alex Trebek make up the celebrity panel on ‘To Tell the Truth,’ Episode 310, airing SUNDAY, JULY 1 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Lisa Rose/ABC via Getty Images)
ALEX TREBEK

LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 30: TV personality Alex Trebek attends the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation at the Official Residence of Canada on June 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 09: ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek speaks as he is inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame during the NAB Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner at the Encore Las Vegas on April 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NAB Show, the trade show of the National Association of Broadcasters and the world’s largest electronic media show, runs through April 12 and features more than 1,700 exhibitors and 102,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 19: Alex Trebek attends ‘Who is Alex Trebek? Celebrating 35 seasons of Jeopardy!’ at 92nd Street Y on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 19: “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek presents the Hart Memorial Trophy during the 2019 NHL Awards at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – MAY 05: Alex Trebek, winner of the Outstanding Game Show Host award, poses at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards – Press Room at Pasadena Civic Center on May 05, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – MAY 05: Alex Trebek accepts the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host onstageduring the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Center on May 05, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

GOOD MORNING AMERICA – Alex Trebek discusses his cancer diagnosis with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” Wednesday, May 1, airing on the Walt Disney Television Network.
(Photo by Paula Lobo/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
ALEX TREBEK

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 13: Special Guest Alex Trebek attends the screening of ‘Wuthering Heights’ at the 2019 TCM 10th Annual Classic Film Festival on April 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for TCM)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 19: Alex Trebek attends ‘Who is Alex Trebek? Celebrating 35 seasons of Jeopardy!’ at 92nd Street Y on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)




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“I will say my good-byes,” 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 so visit Jeopardy.com or check you local listings for TV schedule.

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