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I’m heart-broken. Alex Trebek, long-time Jeopardy! host, passed away yesterday, November 8th.

Source: jeopardy.com

I knew he was battling cancer—and how! He pitted himself against the disease with infinite courage but also his trademark poise and grace—and it wasn’t looking good, but still news of his death hit me hard.

Trebek has been a steady presence in my life for the past two decades. The minute he walked onto the game show’s set each weeknight, my living room was transformed into an exciting place of learning for the next half hour. And I looked forward to the special tournaments such as the championship week or GOAT with no less anticipation than I would for, say, the Cricket World Cup!

As my family grew, I’d watch the show with my little ones, and with my parents when they visited. The Jeopardy! opening music signaled to me, even if only unconsciously, that it was okay to close the doors on the outside world for the night. That it was now time for family.

And on the days that I struggled to make sense of this world, Trebek’s calm voice would relax my shoulders and the knot in my stomach would loosen a bit.

Trebek hosted the game show for 37 seasons, which amounts to over 8,200 episodes. In fact, he recorded his last episode on October 29th, mere days before his passing. Talk about work ethic, commitment, and strength of character. Fittingly, this episode will air on Christmas Day this year.

I learned only recently that Alex had also hosted National Geographic Bee for kids for 25 years!

Goodbye, Alex Trebek! Thank you for modeling to me how to live life with conviction and grace.

You leave behind millions of people—of many generations—who’ll miss you terribly but are grateful for the time they had to spend with you.

Wherever you are now, I know you are entertaining as well as slyly educating those around you in that gentle and self-effacing manner of yours.

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