Every year during winter break, my brother, my parents and I visit our family in Loveland, Colorado. Our trips are filled with traditions, from staying up past midnight playing cards, to dodgeball fights in the snow, to watching the trivia show “Jeopardy!”
“Jeopardy!” is more than a show for my family and me. It’s a challenge. I always try to get the most answers right but am almost always beaten by my dad. Losing the competition doesn’t diminish the fun I have playing, though.
These memories are what came to my mind when I found out that the host of “Jeopardy!” Alex Trebek, had died at the age of 80 on Nov. 8, after battling stage four pancreatic cancer.
Anyone who has seen an episode of “Jeopardy!” knows that Trebek was essential to the show. His calm demeanor and endless knowledge made the trivia show amazing. Although he usually remained neutral, Trebek wasn’t afraid to show his humorous side when speaking with contestants.
Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in Ontario, Canada. He hosted several Canadian game shows before beginning his career in the United States. Trebek began hosting “Jeopardy!’ in 1984.
Trebek was the host of “Jeopardy!” for 37 seasons, spanning several decades and nearly 8,200 episodes. His long career earned him the Guinness World Record for “most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter” in 2014.
Another significant part of Trebek’s life was his philanthropy. Along with his wife Jean, he formed a charitable foundation called the Trebek Family Foundation in 2011. Through this foundation, Trebek supported causes dear to him such as the Musk Ox Development Corporation and the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. He also donated 62 acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains known as the “Trebek Open Space.”
Even at the end of his life, Trebek didn’t lose his spirit. Although he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2019, Trebek still worked in the “Jeopardy!” studio until 10 days before his death. The last episode that he recorded will air on Dec. 25.
Trebek was a funny, intelligent, hardworking person who never gave up. His personality and legacy will live on in the minds of “Jeopardy!” fans across the country.