"Just as a good guy, [and] a nice man," Trebek shared with a smile at last year's Daytime Emmy Awards. "Somebody that you looked at on television on a daily basis and said, 'Hey, you know what, I like him.'"
ET spoke with Trebek after the ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, during which the incomparable TV personality had taken home his 6th Daytime Emmy. The win came just two months after he'd first revealed his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Trebek, who held his newly acquired trophy with adoration, said he felt that sympathy likely played some role in his win.
"I'm aware that there must be a fair amount of sympathy that went into the voting for this, but to tell you the truth, I don't care," he said with a laugh. "I got the award, and I enjoy having this award."
Trebek revealed in March 2019 that he'd been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, and vowed to fight his illness with as much resolve as possible. The announcement was met with an overwhelming outpouring of support from fans and former contestants.
"Most of us, in our lifetimes, never get to know the impact we've had on other people. You only get to hear about it when the other person passes away," Trebek reflected with ET. "So to be able to experience it while you alive is very special."
"It's an experience that, on one hand, I didn't want to experience," he added. "But on the other hand, I'm glad it's happened to me because it has taught me something about where I stand in the lives of people in America and where I stand in my own life."
The news of his death was met with a wave of condolences, memories and tributes from celebs, fans and former contestants who shared their love and appreciation for his contributions to pop culture and the lives of those who watched him on TV every night.
It's readily apparent that the game show iconic is certainly remembered how we wanted -- as a good guy and a nice man.
See the video below for more on Trebek's life and legacy.