George Alexander Trebek (July 22, 1940 – November 8, 2020) was a Canadian-American television personality and game show host. He was the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! for 36 years since its revival in 1984 and until his death in 2020. He also hosted a number of other game shows, including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth. Trebek also made appearances in numerous television series, in which he usually played himself.
A native of Canada, Trebek became a naturalized United States citizen in 1998. He received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times for his work on Jeopardy!. On November 8, 2020, Trebek died at age 80 after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He had been contracted to host Jeopardy! until 2022.
Alex Trebek previously hosted other game shows, including “Double Dare” and “Classic Concentration,” as well as hosting the National Geographic Bee for 25 years.
But it was his time at “Jeopardy!” — a 36-year run almost unheard of by television standards — and his clear intelligence, gentlemanly aplomb and sly good humor that earned him the eternal devotion of millions of viewers.
He also won a slew of awards. Trebek was a five-time daytime Emmy Award winner. He had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He was so deeply immersed in American popular culture that Trebek — or his imitators — appeared in numerous movies and TV shows; comedian Will Ferrell played him on “Saturday Night Live”; he once even drew headlines by shaving his signature moustache.
Sometimes two or even three generations of viewers would gather before televisions to watch him.
One contestant, Burt Thakur, grew tearful on a recently aired episode when he told Trebek how, as a small child in India, he watched the show on his grandfather’s lap.