Alex Trebek: One year after his death, some of the 'Jeopardy!' host's best quotes

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Alex Trebek hosted "Jeopardy!" for almost four decades until his death in 2020, at 80 after battling pancreatic cancer. Monday marks the one-year anniversary of his passing, and we've put together some of his greatest quotes to honor his memory.

Trebek became an iconic TV show host as "Jeopardy!" ballooned in popularity, drawing in millions of viewers each week. Trebek won eight Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He's even got a Guinness World Record for "Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter" for hosting more than 8,000 episodes of the popular quiz show, according to

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Alex Trebek, host of "Jeopardy!" shown in 2019, died Novemer 8, 2020, after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly two years.
Alex Trebek, host of "Jeopardy!" shown in 2019, died Novemer 8, 2020, after battling pancreatic cancer for nearly two years.

It's been hard to fill Trebek's shoes.

"Jeopardy!" has had 16 guest hosts in the wake of Trebek's death and Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings are currently tag-teaming as hosts, at least through the end of the calendar year.

Bialik, 45, an actress and neuroscientist, was known for her role on “The Big Bang Theory,” and Jennings, 47, is famous for going on a 74-game victory streak worth $2.52 million.

'Jeopardy!': You had your favorites, but how did the guest hosts fare in the ratings?

"Jeopardy!" is the most-watched show in syndication this season, averaging 9.1 million viewers.

Here are some lessons learned from the famous, long-running host of one of America's most-watched shows, directly from his mouth:

Life advice

"I’m curious about everything. Even subjects that don’t interest me."

"Have you ever met a successful person who wasn’t restless – who was satisfied with where he or she was in life? They want new challenges. They want to get up and go – and that’s one of the reasons they’re successful."

"Take your job seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously."

"It’s very important in life to know when to shut up. You should not be afraid of silence."

"The secret to happiness, of course, is not getting what you want; it’s wanting what you get."

"My life has been a quest for knowledge and understanding, and I am nowhere near having achieved that. And it doesn't bother me in the least. I will die without having come up with the answers to many things in life."

Sense of humor

"I go through these cycles where I read a lot and then watch TV a lot."

"The only reason I got into broadcasting was I needed money to pay for my junior and senior years at college, and they hired me, those fools!"

“I tried to do my best impression of The Jonas Brothers, but no matter how hard I tried, I ended up looking cool!”

About his diagnosis

After revealing his cancer in 2019, Trebek has been approached by others with similar diagnoses, hoping the longtime friendly TV figure will give them reassurance. He recalled being contacted by a woman about 10 years his junior who recently learned she had pancreatic cancer.

"I tried to cheer her up best I could, but it's tough to be as optimistic as you can when the other person feels none of that optimism. They feel only despair. And I don't know that I'm strong enough or intelligent enough to alleviate that despair."

"The thought of the pancreatic cancer does not frighten me. I'm not afraid of dying. One thing they're not going to say at my funeral as part of a eulogy: 'He was taken from us too soon.' I'm 79 years old. I have lived a good life, a full life and I'm nearing the end of that life. I know that. I'm not going to delude myself."

"I still have the effects of the chemotherapy; I’ve now had, I think, nine or 10 sessions. So it’s wearing on me. but I don't have any choice. I just have to stick with it, and hopefully they’re going to find a new drug that will enable me to grow my hair back."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alex Trebek's best quotes: 'Jeopardy' host died one year ago