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Alex Trebek was the host of Jeopardy !, one of the most popular game shows in television history, for which he has won several Daytime Emmy Awards. Alex Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in Udbury

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Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy !, one of the most popular game shows in television history, for which he has won multiple Daytime Emmy Awards.

Who is Alex Trebek?

Alex Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Canada. In 1966 he decided to shift his focus from journalism to hosting game shows. He became the host of the Canadian quiz show Reach for the tip. His first American television appearance was as the host of the short-lived NBC game show from 1973 The magician of opportunities. In 1984 he began his longstanding role as the host of a revived version of the quiz showDanger!

Early life and career

Alex Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Canada, a major city in northern Ontario. His mother, Lucille Trebek, was a French-Canadian woman with First Nations ancestry, and his father, George Trebek, was a Ukrainian immigrant who worked as a cook at a local hotel. "My father drank a lot and he never missed a working day in his life," remembers Trebek. Trebek describes his father as a hoarder of knickknacks who could prove useful years later. "His basic philosophy was not to throw anything away because one day it would be useful," he says of his father.

A bright and curious child from an early age, Trebek attended Jesuit schools until he was twelve when he decided to leave Sudbury to attend the University of Ottawa in the Canadian capital. "Sudbury is a distant memory," he now admits, "because I was born and raised there, but I left to go to boarding school."

After graduating from high school in 1957, Trebek studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa. After graduating in 1961, Trebek decided to give up philosophy and pursue a career in journalism. He got his first job as an editor and newscaster with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC TV. Although he quickly made a name for himself for his cool on-screen demeanor, in 1966 he decided to shift his focus from journalism to the more lucrative field of hosting game shows. He became the host of the Canadian quiz show Reach for the tipwhere teams of students competed against each other in academic competitions. In 1970, Trebek completed hosting the more prominent, nationally televised Canadian game show jackpot.

'Danger!' host

In 1973 Trebek decided to leave his homeland in favor of the place where the biggest television stars are made: Hollywood. His first American television appearance was as the host of the short-lived NBC game show from 1973 The magician of opportunities. The show only lasted one season; In 1974 Trebek signed a contract to host his successor, another game show called High rollers. Trebek hosted the show during two-year runs on NBC from 1974 to 1976 and again from 1978 to 1980. At the same time, he expanded his repertoire to include other game shows such as The $ 128,000 question (1977-78) and Cases (1981-82), which aired in both the United States and Canada.

In 1984, ABC tapped Trebek to host a game show from the famous inventor of Wheel of FortuneMerv Griffin. The show was a revival of a popular quiz competition called Danger!which aired in its first incarnation from 1964 to 1975. Danger! used a unique format in which cues were answered in the form of answers and candidates in the form of questions. Trebek's version ofDanger! Trebek quickly became one of the most popular game shows in television history. A charismatic and unwavering presenter, Trebek became a pop culture icon, winning five Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding game show presenters in more than three decades.

Another measure of the host's cult status in pop culture is the ubiquity of Alex Trebek's parodies - Will Ferrell alluded to a crazy Trebek Saturday night live, Eugene Levy continued to play "Alex Trebel" Half wits, and family Guy, The simpsons, and X-Files contained all Trebek-parodying storylines. The good-humored Trebek finds the parodies funny and particularly liked Eugene's Levy's Take. "I thought Eugene captured the private horror that a game show host experienced while trying to keep things moving on a day when everything was going wrong," he says.

After more than 30 years of hosting Danger!Trebek stayed as fresh, motivated and humble as ever. When asked in an interview how he achieved such a remarkable balance between professional success and personal humility, Trebek replied: "Take your job seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously."

He also answered a question that, for the first time since Trebek, reminded audiences to put their answer in the form of a question in 1984. How would he behave as a candidate? Trebek replied: "I would do pretty well among seniors, but I would have problems against a good 30-year-old because I can't remember information as quickly as I used to. You said something and I left, boom, immediately , very hot. Now it's like, oh yeah, but wait a minute, uh, uh ... "

During an interview in July 2018, Trebek suggested the end of the line was nearing when he revealed that the chances of him getting back to the host are high Danger! after the end of his contract in 2020 were "50/50 and a little less". He also named two possible representatives: Alex Faust, play-by-play spokesperson for the Los Angeles Kings, and radio host, writer and law professor Laura Coates.

Health problems and cancer diagnosis

After a serious fall in October 2017, Trebek was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma in December. He underwent an operation the next day, which resulted in his being forced to discontinue his hosting obligations. Trebek soon reassured fans, however, by posting a video on the game show's website: "After two days in the hospital, I came home to begin recovery," he said. "The prognosis is excellent and I expect to be back in the studio and more 'Jeopardy!' Programs very, very soon!"

In March 2019, Trebek dropped a bomb announcing that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

He delivered the news in a video posted on YouTube, and the TV mainstay said he plans to bring the season to an end Danger! "Usually the prognosis for this is not very promising, but I will fight against it and keep working," he vowed.

A few months later, Trebek revealed that he was in near remission. "It's kind of stunning," he said People for the cover story of June 10, 2019. "Doctors said they hadn't seen such a positive result in their memory ... some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent." When asked why he felt so well addressed to chemotherapy, the host attributed the "positive energy" that was passed on by numerous well-wishers.

In mid-September, Trebek announced another health update by announcing the following Good morning America that he had another round of chemotherapy.

Personal life

Alex Trebek married Elaine Callei in 1974 and they stayed married for seven years before divorcing in 1981. In 1990 he married Jean Currivan for the second time and they have two children, Emily and Matthew.

Trebek is an active volunteer and spokesperson for organizations like World Vision and Smile Train that help improve the lives of impoverished children around the world. He has participated in 13 USO tours visiting American troops overseas and in 1998 received the prestigious Bob Hope Entertainment Award.