Friday marked Alex Trebek’s final episode of Jeopardy.

Trebek passed away back in November from pancreatic cancer, but he gave us a gift before his death, recording a number of episodes, the last five of which, aired this week.

It allowed us to feel as though he was still with us, as he has been, since 1984, hosting a show so many have grown up with.

Alex Trebek was more than just a host. He was a part of our lives and leaves a lasting footprint in our hearts.

That half hour of Jeopardy each night for the last 36 years is one many of us have grown up with. The fun of guessing the clues, secondary to watching the man who brought it all to life.

From his witty responses to contestants, to his impeccable pronunciations and humor, to his love of all clues and categories involving his native Canada, it’s no wonder many love Alex Trebek as much as they love the game of Jeopardy.

He was a part of your nightly routine; a familiar face and warm personality to escape to after a long day of work.

I was honored to be a small part of that legacy when I got the exciting opportunity to read a clue on the show for its Clues Across America category.

It was March 2019 when Trebek revealed the shocking news of his cancer diagnosis. The show’s millions of fans rallied around him while Trebek fought on, continuing to host, even through grueling chemo treatments, while at the same time providing upbeat and candid updates about his health.

Things were looking up when he completed treatment in August, but a month later, Trebek announced his numbers were up and he would have to re-enter treatment.

Brown University student Dhruv Gaur echoed what so many of us were thinking in a moment on the show that brought Trebek to tears.

Instead of writing his answer to final Jeopardy, Dhruv simply wrote, “We love you Alex.”

Cancer may have taken this endearing and iconic man from us, but he lives on in American pop culture history.

He’s a piece of our lives and our hearts and forever the true host of Jeopardy.