Who Is Alex Trebek?

‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek dies on Nov. 8 at the ages of 80


Sruthi Ramesh

“I’m 79 years old, so I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life,” Trebek said before he passed.

Elizabeth Hamby

The man that every American knew as the host of “Jeopardy!” for more than 30 years, George Alex Trebek, has died of pancreatic cancer. It’s one of the most deadly types of cancer that only has a 9% survival rate. 

However, Trebek was more than just the host of Jeopardy; in his last months of life, he wrote an autobiography called “The Answer is… Reflections on My Life”  that revealed much more about the private person he was. 

In his college years, Trebek studied philosophy, mainly out of convenience, but he was glad that he did. 

“Philosophy helps you in terms of acknowledging some sense of perspective in your life and in the world around you,” Trebek wrote.

But just like any kid, he had many ‘absurd’ aspirations for when he got older. 

“Growing up, I wanted to either be a pilot, a doctor, or the prime minister of Canada. Once I found broadcasting, I abandoned any political aspirations,” Trebek wrote. 

His first job in the world of broadcasting was on the radio station of CBC as what he called a disk jockey, or a radio host. He says he doesn’t know why it stuck with him, but he won a public speaking contest in the third grade and just thought he would pursue the art of speaking.

“You speak well so maybe you could announce,” Trebek recounted in his book. 

So, including all forms of Jeopardy, Trebek hosted almost 20 game shows. Some of his most prevalent ones being Wizards of Odds, Double Dare, and of course, the age-old trivia game, “Jeopardy!”

The world was saddened when Trebek, then 79 years old, announced last March that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Originally, he wanted to keep his discovery a secret, but ultimately wanted to stay ahead of the press. He remained optimistic and he ended up passing the one year mark after his diagnosis, when the survival rate was 18%. Trebek proved to be doing well with chemotherapy and his doctors announced that he seemed to be beating the disease. 

At 80 the beloved host passed peacefully in his home with friends and family. 

It was an honor for me to be a part of his professional family for nearly 40 years. His strength and courage and grace during his recent health struggles inspired countless others. Alex was truly one of a kind,” Pat Sajak, the host of Wheel of Fortune, said. 

Ken Jennings, who won 74 games on the show and is the highest-earning game show contestant, reacted to his death in a tweet yesterday. 

“Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him,” Jennings tweeted. 

So after approximately 22,000 questions read on Jeopardy, this wonderful man has passed on. 

“I’m 79 years old, so I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life,” Trebek said before he passed. 

We love you, we miss you, no will ever replace you. Rest in power Alex.