Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, the quick-witted, and debonair television host adored by generations of trivia fans has lost his lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.
Trebek died early Sunday morning at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement released by “Jeopardy!” officials. “This is an enormous loss for the “Jeopardy!” staff, crew and all of Alex’s millions of fans. He was a legend of the industry that we were all lucky to watch night after night for 37 years,” the show’s executive producer, said in a statement.
Trebek had been the face of “Jeopardy!” since his big break in 1984, when legendary TV host and producer Merv Griffin brought back “Jeopardy!,” to TV and hired him as the host. In October 2018, Trebek renewed his contract with Sony Pictures Television to continue as host of the quiz show through 2022.
After working his way through college and graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Ottawa, Trebek worked in radio and TV for 12 years in his native Canada. He made the move to Los Angeles in 1973 for The Wizard of Odds, and hosed many shows, such as High Roller, Double Dare, and other before landing “Jeopardy!” in 1984.
Trebek has won five daytime Emmy Awards and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2011. In 2016, TV Guide ranked “Jeopardy!” as the 45th greatest show in small-screen history, just behind “NYPD Blue” and one spot ahead of “Barney Miller.”
Trebek, who has a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Canadian Walk of Fame, was named in 2017 an officer of the Order of Canada, his native country’s second-highest civilian honor.
George Alexander Trebek was born on July 22, 1940, in Sudbury, Ontario, to chef George Edward Trebek and Lucille Lagacé. He passed away on November 8, 2020.
The Los Angeles resident Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and their two adult children, Emily, a real estate developer, and Matthew, the owner of OSO, a Mexican restaurant, and Lucille’s, a restaurant/bar, both in New York City.
He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and the millions of fans who loved him. RIP