Iconic Jeopardy Game Show Host Alex Trebek. 80. Passes Away

alex trebek jeopardy television

Alex Trebek, Longtime Host of ‘Jeopardy!,’ Dies at 80.

Alex Trebek has been a host of the popular game show since it’s syndicated debut in 1984.

Over the years, Trebek has become one of television’s most enduring and iconic figures, engaging millions of viewers worldwide with his impeccable delivery of “answers and questions.”

More about Alex Trebek

In March 2019, Trebek announced that he had pancreatic cancer. Since the announcement, he has undergone treatment while continuing to host Jeopardy!, inspiring millions with his upbeat and candid messages about his health.

He is survived by his wife and Jean Trebeck and two adult children: Emily, a real estate developer in Los Angeles, and Matthew, the owner of OSO, a Mexican restaurant, and Lucille’s, a restaurant/bar, both in Harlem, New York.

Besides Jeapordy, Alex Trebek also hosted a number of other game shows, including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth.

Trebek also made appearances in numerous television series, in which he usually played himself.

Alex Trebek Quotes

We are trying to entertain the audience. We happen to do it by enlightening and educating them. [January 10, 1988]

“I have learned quite a bit, but it’s not like you know enough about the topics to lead a discussion at a cocktail party.” – On the question if hosting the show has expanded his knowledge.

[When asked if he missed Bob Barker’s final show in 2007]: I was doing some electrical work in an attic today.

  • Game show host
  • Owned a Creston, California vineyard: Creston Vineyards.
  • Became a U.S. citizen in 1998.
  • Graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Philosophy.
  • A large oak tree smashed into the garage of Trebek’s Studio City, California home during a fierce wind storm. (5 January 2003)
  • Father, with wife Jean Trebek, of two children: daughter Emily Trebek and son Matthew Trebek.
  • Hosted the National Geography Bee in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Owned a 700-acre Thoroughbred horse farm: Creston Farms.
  • Parodied by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live (1975).
    Sat on the boards of the National Geographic Society Education Foundation and the National Advisory Council for the Literary Volunteers of America.
  • Won the Bob Hope Entertainment Award in 1998 for his work with the USO.
  • His first game show, The Wizard of Odds (1973), was produced by Alan Thicke.
  • He framed a bounced check for $49,000, which he received from a game show he worked at in the 1980s that failed.
  • It was Trebek’s idea to include separate competitions for teenagers, seniors, and celebrities on Jeopardy! (1984).
  • When he married Jean Trebek (Jean Currivan), at the ceremony he gave his wedding vow as a joke on the Jeopardy! (1984) rule of phrasing an answer as a question by saying, “The answer is … yes”.
  • Was fluent in English and French and also spoke some German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.
  • His parents were Lucille (Lagacé), who was of French-Canadian, and approximately 1/8th British Isles (including Irish), ancestry, and George Edward Trebek, a Ukrainian immigrant.
  • When young, Trebek thought about becoming a priest, but changed his mind after spending a summer at a Trappist monastery. He said in an interview for the New York Sunday News, “I took a vow not only of poverty but of silence. And I’m not one to keep my big mouth shut. I enjoy talking.” [February 24, 1974]
  • Before he was a successful game show host, he was a newscaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Network.
  • Was a longtime moderator for the annual National Geographic Bee in both Canada and the United States.
  • After having a confrontation at a Los Angeles International Airport, he sued an airline employee who said he left her with serious hand injuries. [23 March 2000]
  • Lived in the U.S. since 1973.
  • On Friday, January 30, 2004, while driving alone on a country road near Templeton, California, where he owned a horse farm, he lost consciousness at the wheel which led him to his car crash.
  • Received a phone call from Regis Philbin for his final answer on Philbin’s talk show and Trebek said he refused to be tested for his “brains” on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999).
  • Every day he read the movie book by Roger Ebert.
  • Had 2 biggest winners in Jeopardy! (1984) history with more than $80,000 cash and an automobile. One was Doug Lach, who won $85,400 in cash and car in Season 16, and the other one was: Travis Troyer, who won $83,100 in cash and car in Season 19.
  • Sang a couple of lines from one of The Bee Gees’ songs.
  • Hosted two game shows that made it big in his 35+ year run, all three behind Bob Barker, Wink Martindale and Bob Eubanks, making him one of the youngest game show hosts in history. He was still hosting Jeopardy! (1984), which has been a ratings bonanza in syndication, when he passed away. The other show was Classic Concentration (1987) for NBC, which he hosted for five years.
  • As a teenager, he was a garbage man in Cincinnati, but moved back to his native Canada in 1961 to finish college and to become a news anchor.
  • His father, George Edward, was an alcoholic.
  • His hosting duties on Jeopardy! (1984) were carried on most of the CTV networks in Canada but it still ranks #2 behind Wheel of Fortune (1983), in ratings in most U.S. markets where both programs are often in tandem. (2003)
  • Was a spokesman for World Vision.
  • Once subbed for Chuck Woolery on the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune (1983), before he was hired as the host of Jeopardy! (1984) for syndication.
  • He purchased a house so he could use its tennis court. In the 1990s it was rented by Pete Rose and his wife Carol, who had to get him to fix the house’s electrical and plumbing problems.
  • Lived next door to Ed Begley Jr..
    Proposed to wife Jean Trebek (Jean Currivan) on her birthday, 12 September.
  • His friend Wayne Brady appeared on Jeopardy! (1984), a year after Trebek appeared on Brady’s own talk show, just before both were nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award. Brady has won more Emmys than Trebek, for Outstanding Daytime Talk Show Host. Trebek was nominated for Audience Participation in a Game Show and Outstanding Game Show Host.
  • After Merv Griffin created Jeopardy! (1984), 20 years ago, he wanted to create the show’s “think” music, including that of “Final Jeopardy!”, and Trebek was among the candidates to host the show during its taping.
  • Was a frequent traveler.
  • Though he was good at pronouncing words in many different languages, he had difficulty with Welsh and Hawaiian.
  • Owned a pair of different homes: one in Beverly Hills and the other in the San Fernando Valley.
  • Enjoyed collecting and drinking wine, training and bred thoroughbred racing, golfing, and hosting quiz shows.
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