Alex Trebek, a pop-culture icon who hosted the popular TV show “Jeopardy!” for 30 years, has died. He was 80.
Trebek battled Stage 4 pancreatic cancer since March 2019. He was surrounded by family and friends when he passed.
Trebek was born in 1940 in Sudbury, Canada, which was a large city in northern Ontario. His mother had some first nation ancestry and his father worked as a chef in a hotel.
At age 12, he attended the University of Ottawa High School, graduating in 1957. Trebek then went on to study philosophy at the University of Ottawa. However, in 1961, he ditched philosophy for journalism.
Trebek’s first job was as a fill-in reporter and newscaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC TV).
In 1966, Trebek decided to shift his focus to game-show hosting. He landed a job as the game show host for the popular Canadian TV show, “Reach for the Top.” In 1970, Trebek was offered the game show host of the more prominent Canadian show “Jackpot,” which he stayed with until 1973.
In 1973, Trebek decided to move to Hollywood to make his break in the United States. Trebek slowly made his way up to the top by becoming game-show hosts of numerous shows; however, in 1984, the American Broadcasting Co. (ABC) asked Trebek to revive the famous game show, “Jeopardy!” Trebek would go on to win numerous Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Game Show Host.
Trebek would go on to host the popular game show for 30 years.
“Take your job seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously,” Trebek said during an interview.
While thriving being the game host of “Jeopardy!,” Trebek did have health complications.
In 2017, Trebek was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, which required Trebek to undergo surgery and put a halt on the taping of the popular TV game show.
While things seem to be back to normal, in March 2019, Trebek announced to the world that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The plan was to finish out the season of “Jeopardy!” and have Trebek undergo chemotherapy.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling, the doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory… some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50%,” Trebek said during an interview with People Magazine.
However, Trebek passed away Nov. 9, 2020.
Trebek was an active volunteer and spokesperson for numerous organizations. Trebek visited American troops overseas 13 times with the United Service Organization (USO) and was awarded the Bob Hope Entertainment Award in 1998.
His witty banter with “Jeopardy!” contestants will be greatly missed. Viewers can still catch new episodes of “Jeopardy!” with Trebek as the host until Dec. 25, according to Newsweek.