Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek dies
Longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek died Sunday. He was 80.
Trebek was quietly tenacious, a trait he traced back to his Canadian upbringing and years of playing ice hockey. During his 30-plus-year tenure as Jeopardy! host, he canceled only one taping—when he lost his voice completely. A swollen foot, kidney stones, and two heart attacks couldn’t stop him from fulfilling his duty to viewers.
Who was Alex Trebek? Although he was not the first host of Jeopardy!, his name became synonymous with the game show. The show’s popularity, along with that of its host, prompted parodies on Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The X-Files.
Over the course of his career, Trebek earned seven Emmy Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter. He used his fame to promote geography, a subject that had always captivated his interest. For many years he served as the host of the Great Canadian Geography Challenge and the U.S. National Geography Bee. He also supported World Vision, the University of Ottawa (his alma mater), and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.
Trebek announced in March 2019 that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He continued to host the program during treatments: “There are weaknesses I feel in my body but I can always suck it up when it comes to tape the show.”
Trebek’s wife and their three children survive him.
Dig deeper: Read Lynde Langdon’s report in Muse about the last year’s record-smashing Jeopardy! contestant James Holzhauer.
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