Who was Alex Trebek?

Alex Trebek, the host synonymous with the famous game show Jeopardy!, passed away on November 8th after battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer for over a year. Trebek was 80 years old.

The former Jeopardy host was born George Alexander Trebek in July 1940 in Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1961 with a degree in philosophy but changed his mind and chose to pursue journalism. His first job was working as a radio and TV broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Trebek reported in French and English, and on a whole host of topics. 

Trebek’s first quiz shows included “Reach for the Top” and “Jackpot,” both nationally televised in his home country. In 1973, Trebek left Canada and hosted his first American game show, “The Wizard of Odds.” The show lasted a year before cancellation, and Trebek got asked to host another game show, “High Rollers.”

Alex Trebek’s big break finally came in 1984, when the creator of Wheel of Fortune, Merv Griffin, assigned Trebek to host Jeopardy!, a game show centered around answers posed as questions. Trebek hosted the show for a total of 37 seasons and over 8,000 episodes, the most for a single game show host ever. Trebek also received multiple Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host from his time on Jeopardy!

Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019, yet he continued to work on the show until production paused in March due to the coronavirus. Airing returned this past September, shortly before Trebek’s passing. Episodes of Jeopardy with Alex Trebek as the host will be aired from now until December 25th.