A Tribute To Alex Trebek

Avery Chalk, Writer

In just a few short weeks, Jeopardy will be gracing the screens of America one significant cast member short.

On November 8, longtime television personality Alex Trebek passed away after suffering from a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. The beloved host was adored by many, and after thirty seven seasons of Jeopardy, touched the hearts of millions across the United States. He stood strongly for kindness, reminded people to be generous, and was respectful to all – such qualities that will surely be missed both on and off the screen.

A fan made dedication to Trebek, located near his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Chris Pizzello)

Trebek, an astute yet kindhearted man, demonstrated an understanding of the importance of a strong work ethic from an early age. The Canada native’s first job, a bellhop, was earned at just thirteen – proving that even the best have to start somewhere. From there, he went on to study at the University of Ottawa, quickly discovering that he had a distinct aptitude for journalism.

Before debuting on one of the most prominent trivia shows of the century, Trebek appeared on almost every broadcasting platform imaginable. As an employee at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the now-successful host took his first steps towards a legitimate career in newscasting and entertainment. From there, he went on to host The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, and The $128,000 Question (among others) before landing Jeopardy in 1984.

A young Alex Trebek on set of Wizard of Odds. (Everett Collection)

To say that he was loved by fans from the start would be an understatement. Supporters positively adored him –  perhaps even more so than Jeopardy’s original host, Art Fleming. Trebek made the show lovable, prosperous, and thus, timeless.

Kelli Brent, a sophomore at Franklin High School, still watches Jeopardy today, almost 37 years after its first airing with Trebek. “It’s really fun watching it together [as a family]”, Brent beamed. “Alex just brought so much to the show, and I was really sad to find out that he had passed.”

As for life outside of the show, Alex Trebek had 3 children whom he loved dearly. An adoptive parent to his first partner’s daughter, Trebek proved to be a caring and affectionate father. Later in life, he also shared two kids with his long-time wife Jean Currivan. The host also enjoyed farming, tennis, and of course, philanthropy.

Trebek stood fiercely for a myriad of charities throughout his admirable life. He was in full support of organizations regarding pancreatic cancer, endangered animals, and even youth education. In fact, he cultivated his very own association, The Trebek Family Foundation, to further give back to his community. The program aided multiple small charities, helping them not only finance further projects, but bring awareness to their various causes.

Winner Ken Jennings and Alex Trebek after the GOAT Jeopardy Championship. (ABC)

The last of Trebek’s pre-recorded episodes will be aired on Christmas Day – be sure to check out their schedule here. After the release of Trebek’s final shows, Jeopardy will be temporarily led by Ken Jennings, a man who proved himself to be the “Greatest Player of All Time” during a series of intense rounds earlier in 2020. This tournament, as well as other episodes, can be found on ABC.

Alex Trebek set the bar for future television personalities justly high. He was a good host, as well as good man, and will forever be remembered.