Alex Trebek, the decades -long host of the game show Jeopardy has died of pancreatic cancer. The announcement was made via twitter on the game show’s social media feed. Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, on July 22, 1940] the son of George Edward Trebek (né Terebeychuk), a chef who had emigrated from Ukraine as a child, and Lucille Lagacé (born April 14, 1921), a Franco-Ontarian. He grew up in a bilingual French-English household. Trebek’s first job was when he was 13; he was a bellhop at the hotel where his father worked as a chef.
Trebek attended Sudbury High School (now Sudbury Secondary School) and then attended the University of Ottawa Trebek graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in philosophy in 1961.While a university student, he was a member of the English Debating Society. At the time, he was interested in a career in broadcast news.
Before completing his degree, Trebek began his career in 1961 working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. According to Trebek, “I went to school in the mornings and worked at nights; I did everything, at one time replacing every announcer in every possible job”. He would eventually read the CBC national radio news and cover a wide range of special events for the CBC Radio and CBC Television, including curling and horse racing.
Trebek’s first hosting job was on a Canadian music program called Music Hop in 1963. In 1966 he hosted a high school quiz show called Reach for the Top. From 1967 to 1970 he was a host for the CBC, introducing classical music programs including performances by Glenn Gould. For one or two seasons he hosted a weekly skating program. Starting in spring 1969, Trebek also hosted Strategy, a weekday afternoon game show. From 1971 until the end of 1972, Trebek hosted I’m Here Til 9, the local morning drive radio show on CBC Toronto.
Game show career
In 1973, he moved to the United States and worked for NBC as host of a new game show. For the next 11 year Trebek hosted a number of game shows until 1984 when he took over as host of Jeopardy
Trebek had multiple guest appearances on other television shows, ranging from Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2008 and 2011 to the Colbert Report series-finale. On June 13, 2014, Guinness World Records presented Trebek with the world record for most episodes of a game show hosted, with 6,829 episodes at the time. Trebek also appeared in multiple television commercials.
In 1990, he married Jean Currivan, a real estate project manager from New York. They have two children, Matthew and Emily.[citation needed. In 1996, Trebek ran the Olympic torch in Jacksonville, Florida, through a leg of its journey to Atlanta. Trebek became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998.
On March 6, 2019, Trebek announced that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He had been experiencing a persistent stomachache before the diagnosis but did not recognize it as a symptom of the disease. In a prepared video announcement of the diagnosis, Trebek noted that his prognosis was poor but that he would aggressively fight the cancer in hopes of beating the odds and would continue hosting Jeopardy! for as long as he was able, joking that his contract obligated him to do so for three more years.
Trebek died while surrounded by family and friends at his home on November 8, 2020. He was 80 years old. His death followed a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer.
Alex Trebek supported many charities including a $5 Million bequest to the University of Ottawa, his alma mater.