Jeopardy! fans all over the world are celebrating the bittersweet milestone of what would have been Alex Trebek‘s 81st birthday on Thursday, July 22. The beloved game show host passed away in November 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, and his legacy of learning has lived on as the show seeks a permanent replacement.

Trebek’s colleagues and admirers celebrated his birthday with a variety of tributes on social media, sharing their own memories of working with him and watching him throughout his 37 years of hosting Jeopardy!. Keep scrolling to read more of the sweet words people have for the late icon on his big day.

Robin Roberts

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, who is currently guest hosting Jeopardy!, shared a special tribute to Trebek on the game show’s official social media page. Praising the “kind, intelligent and philanthropic” host, Roberts announced that in his honor, the show had raised $100,000 to donate to Be the Match, an organization that helps patients get the vital medical donations they need. 

Robin Roberts pays tribute to Alex Trebek, who would have celebrated his 81st birthday today. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/1YG17BsPPp

— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) July 22, 2021

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Buzzy Cohen

Buzzy Cohen, who previously filled in as a guest host following his successful Jeopardy! run, shared an emotional tribute to Trebek on Twitter, saying there was no one who could ever truly fill his late friend’s shoes. “He is and will continue to be dearly missed in all our homes,” Cohen added.

As someone who made it up to the stage, I will say there is still no one who can truly hold a candle to the late great Alex Trebek. He is and will continue to be dearly missed in all our homes. Sending love to his family and loyal Jeopardy crew. Happy Birthday Alex. pic.twitter.com/ctyyc99qpt

— Buzzy Cohen (@buzztronics) July 22, 2021

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Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear took a break from promoting fire safety to wish his “pal,” the late Trebek a happy birthday, sharing a photo of the two together and expressing just how much he is missed.

Thinking of my pal, the late Alex Trebek. Happy Birthday to the legend, we all miss you. pic.twitter.com/51YcFk8un4

— Smokey Bear (@smokey_bear) July 22, 2021

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‘Such an Inspiration

Fans of Jeopardy! were also sharing their birthday sentiments on Twitter. It’s a bittersweet day for many who have cancer stories of their own and looked to Trebek throughout his own battle for “inspiration.”

hearing that today would’ve been Alex Trebek’s 81st birthday is such a punch to the gut. He was and continues to be such an inspiration for families like mine fighting pancreatic cancer 💜

— Bailey Pekar (@BaileyPekar) July 22, 2021

Happy Birthday to the late Alex Trebek! Rest In Paradise ❤️🙏🏿❤️ pic.twitter.com/IooEdexHki

— Nyx Ninja (@nyxninjax) July 22, 2021

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‘America’s Favorite Uncle’

Others celebrated “America’s favorite uncle,” saying he is “very much missed,” while still others reflected on their own emotions while commemorating the date.

Today is Alex Trebek’s birthday and now I’m sad.

— The Bean (@favabean05) July 22, 2021

Alex Trebek would be 81 years old today. America’s favorite uncle is very much missed. Rest well, king. pic.twitter.com/nDgrOjKXXq

— Joe Biden is my president, and yours too (@CharFitz4) July 22, 2021

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‘Grateful for the Legacy’

Some Jeopardy! fans looked to Trebek’s legacy for comfort, saying they were “grateful” for the “intense love of trivia and learning” he helped install in them from an early age.

Today is Alex Trebek’s birthday. Sad that he is gone but grateful for the legacy he has left behind, including not only the people in the @Jeopardy family but all the viewers like myself in whom he encouraged an intense love of trivia and learning. We miss you Alex 💜

— Maya Persram (@maya_persram) July 22, 2021

Happy birthday Alex Trebek. Rest easy.

— exottic_butter (@Oofster65856264) July 22, 2021

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‘Until We Meet Again’

Trebek never wanted a drawn-out farewell, sharing on the ABC special What is Jeopardy? Alex Trebek and America’s Most Popular Quiz Show in 2020 that he would only need 30 seconds at the end of his final show to bid farewell.

“I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people: ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever.’ But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect you have shown me…then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success,” he explained, sharing that his final words would be, “And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”

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Who Will Host ‘Jeopardy!’ Next?

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(Photo: Michael Tran, Getty)

The hunt for a permanent Jeopardy! host is still on, with the show bringing in famous fans of the game show to fill in for Trebek in two-week stints until the decision is made. Included in the lineup have been stars such as Ken Jennings, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper and now Robin Roberts. After Roberts wraps up her stint, LeVar Burton, David Faber and Joe Buck will all take their turn at the podium while paying tribute to Trebek in their own way. 

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