Every weeknight at 7:30 p.m., families across the nation sit around the television finishing their dinner and watching Jeopardy, a game show that has captivated all ages with its entertaining facts, allowing them to escape the stressful world around them. Last week, Alex Trebek, the host of the widely popular game show since the eighties, died at the age of 80 after a two-year battle of pancreatic cancer. Many know him because for 36 years he was able to touch so many lives with his soothing personality and his timely humor. For many viewers, he was the heart and soul of a show that made families come together at dinner and bond over something everyone could enjoy.
Trebek was born in July, 1940 in Ontario, Canada, and attended the University of Omaha, where he received a degree in philosophy. He then started working at the Canadian Broadcasting Company and made his way up to being an announcer about the weather, news and sports. Eventually he took an interest in game shows and became the host of shows like Music Hop, and the high school game show Reach for the Top, in 1961 he was also the host for show called Strategy, and many others.
In 1973, Trebek made the decision to move to the United States, where he made the decision to try out for a game show called The Wizards of Odds and continued to host for many other shows. Then in 1984, he heard about Jeopardy, a show that had already been on the television for 11 years, with Art Flemming hosting. Trebek hosted the revival television series for almost three decades and died with a contract saying he would stay on as the host until 2022.
It was during an episode of Jeopardy that Trebek announced that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and promised to fight against the disease. His support came from everywhere and showed how truly loved he was by so many.
“I remember my parents watching the show and I would end up staying the entire episode to see if I could try to answer a question before my parents,” Owen Wortmann ‘23.
Trebek was a fixture in so many lives and will be missed by many. It is sad to think other families will not know or understand the comfort and humor of Trebek. He was able to make learning entertaining and enjoyable and became landmark in television.