November 8, 2020
by John Larson
Alex Trebek, who was best known for hosting the trivia game show “Jeopardy!,” died at his Los Angeles home on November 8, 2020. In 2019, he announced that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, but that he would continue to host the show. The Associated Press reported that Sony Pictures Television, the production company behind the syndicated “Jeopardy” announced that Trebek was with family members when he died.
Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, on July 22, 1940, Trebek graduated from the University of Ottowa in 1961. He began his career that year as an employee for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He became a news reader for CBC national radio news and then became a correspondent for CBC Radio and CBC Television.
Trebek moved into the entertainment television as the host of the Canadian music program called “Music Hop” in 1963. In 1966, he began hosted his first TV game show: quiz show called “Reach for the Top.” He continued to work for CBC for the remainder of the 1960s and through the early 1970s. During this time period, he hosted the game show “Strategy” and the morning radio show “I’m Here Til 9.”
In 1973, Trebek moved to the United States, where he hosted several game shows over several decades, including “To Tell the Truth,” “The Wizard of Odds,” “Double Dare,” “High Rollers,” “Battlestars” and “Classic Concentration.”
The original incarnation of “Jeopardy!” was on NBC from 1964 to 1975, with Art Fleming as the host. Trebek began hosting a revival of “Jeopardy” in 1984. Trebek’s last episode as host of “Jeopardy!” is set to premiere in December 2020.
Trebek, who became a U.S. citizen in 1998, was married twice. His marriage to first wife Elaine Trebek Kares lasted from 1974 to 1981, and ended in divorce. During their marriage, Trebek adopted Kares’ son Nicky. Trebek married his second wife Jean Currivan-Trebek in 1990. They had two children together: Matthew and Emily.
Trebek is survived by his three children and widow Jean Currivan-Trebek.