NATIONAL NEWS

Alex Trebek, Beloved Host Of ‘Jeopardy!’ Dies At 80

Nov 8, 2020, 10:41 AM | Updated: 12:45 pm

FILE: Alex Trebek (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...

FILE: Alex Trebek (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Alex Trebek, the genial “Jeopardy!” host with all the answers and a reassuring presence in the TV game-show landscape for five decades, has died. He was 80 years old.

“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” said a statement shared on the show’s Twitter account Sunday. “Thank you, Alex.”

The cause of death was not immediately announced. Trebek revealed in March 2019 he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, triggering an outpouring of support and well wishes at the time.

“Jeopardy!” contestant Ken Jennings said on Twitter Sunday he was thinking of Trebek’s family and the “Jeopardy!” family, “which, in a way, included millions of us,” he said.

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

Over 37 seasons, Trebek hosted more than 8,200 episodes of “Jeopardy!,” the most by a presenter of any single TV game show, according to a statement from Sony Pictures.

But despite the 35 years he spent on “Jeopardy!,” the syndicated quiz show where answers are presented in the form of a question, Trebek wasn’t exactly an overnight success.

Born in Sudbury, Canada, he studied philosophy before becoming a journalist, working as a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

In 1966, while still in his mid-20s, he switched from journalism to hosting game shows, starting with a quiz show titled “Reach for the Top,” and followed a few years later by another, “Jackpot.”

It wasn’t until 1984 that Trebek landed what turned out to be his big break, when producer-host Merv Griffin chose him to emcee a revival of “Jeopardy!,” which was paired with another hit game show, “Wheel of Fortune.”

The combination became a formidable block in the hour leading into prime time while earning Trebek five Daytime Emmy Awards for his role as host.

His longevity was reflected in a personal milestone, when he passed “The Price is Right’s” Bob Barker in the Guinness Book of Records as the person who had hosted the most game-show episodes.

In a 2014 interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Trebek downplayed that honor, saying, “I’m just enjoying what I’m doing, I’m happy to have a job. I like the show, I like the contestants and it pays well.”

Trebek began hinting it might be time to retire in 2018, before agreeing to sign one last contract extension, which was to run through 2022.

Besides his hosting work, which included such shows as “Classic Concentration” and “High Rollers,” Trebek was active as a philanthropist, taking part in USO Tours visiting US troops overseas and serving as a spokesman for various charities, including WorldVision.

One of the few public missteps in Trebek’s career came when he tried his hand again at journalism, agreeing to moderate a Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate in 2018. Criticized for a performance that included talking more than either of the candidates, he subsequently apologized, saying he had been “naïve” about his role.

When Trebek announced his diagnosis in March 2019, tributes came from across the entertainment industry, including late-night host Stephen Colbert, who said, “Everybody loves Alex Trebek.”

Jennings compared Trebek to CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, tweeting, “Alex Trebek is in a way the last Cronkite: authoritative, reassuring TV voice you hear every night, almost to the point of ritual.”

Trebek is survived by his wife, Jean, who he married in 1990, and their two children, Emily and Matthew.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night ...

Eric Bradner and Daniel Strauss, CNN

Trump wins all delegates at stake in Michigan GOP convention amid leadership battle

Former President Donald Trump won all 39 delegates at stake at a Michigan Republican convention Saturday, as officials there sought to move past a leadership battle that has split the state party into rival factions.

7 hours ago

Workers clear snow in a residential neighborhood, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Truckee, Calif. (AP P...

Brooke Hess and Ken Ritter, The Associated Press

A massive blizzard howls in the Sierra Nevada. High winds and heavy snow close roads and ski resorts

A powerful blizzard that a meteorologist termed “as bad as it gets” howled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, closing a long stretch of Interstate 80 in Northern California, forcing ski resorts to shut down, and leaving thousands of homes without power.

8 hours ago

People inspect damage and recover items from their homes following Israeli air strikes on February ...

Waafa Shurafa and Samy Magdy

U.S. says Israel has agreed to the framework for a Gaza cease-fire. Hamas now must decide

A senior U.S. official says Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza cease-fire and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it.

17 hours ago

yellow tape crossing blue and red lights...

Associated Press

Body parts of 2 people found in Long Island park and police are trying to identify them

Police on New York's Long Island were trying to identify human remains found in a popular suburban park that appear to be from a man and a woman.

19 hours ago

A vehicle drives through blowing snow near Interstate 80 (I-80) in the Sierra Nevada mountains at t...

Scott Sonner

Powerful storm in California and Nevada shuts interstate and dumps snow on mountains

Tens of thousands of customers are without power early Saturday and a 100-mile stretch of Interstate 80 remains closed indefinitely.

1 day ago

FILE: Ballots are counted by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of Tuesdays election ...

Associated Press

Arizona’s new voting laws that require proof of citizenship are not discriminatory, a US judge rules

A U.S. district judge has ruled Arizona legislators did not discriminate when they adopted laws requiring counties to verify the status of registered voters who haven’t provided proof of U.S. citizenship.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Alex Trebek, Beloved Host Of ‘Jeopardy!’ Dies At 80