Alex Trebek has hosted more than 8,000 episodes of 'Jeopardy!' over three decades. Here's a look at the 7-time Emmy Award winner's life, from his start as a Canadian sports announcer to his cancer diagnosis.

Reed Saxon/AP ImagesAlex Trebek at the Emmy Awards in 2006.

Alex Trebek has been the host of “Jeopardy!” for 36 years – that amounts to over 8,000 hosted episodes – but he’s been at the helm of game shows for even longer.

After starting his television career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Trebek went on to host dozens of shows along with securing a recurring role as the host of game show “Jeopardy!” in 1984. The show originally debuted in 1964.

Despite rumours of his retirement, Trebek’s contract is effective until 2022, which was reaffirmed when he announced his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer last March. At the time, he said he planned to beat the disease, as he was in a contract to host “Jeopardy” for an additional three years.

On Wednesday, in a video shared on “Jeopardy!” social media accounts, Trebek provided an update on his health. “The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,” he said. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”

Trebek also said that he and his oncologist are working to make sure he lives to see another year: “If we take it one day at a time with a positive attitude,” he continued, “anything is possible.”

Amidst a long list of lifetime achievements, Trebek holds the record for being the longest game show host, along with seven total Emmy Awards. He has also made countless cameos on popular television shows, from “Golden Girls” to “How I Met Your Mother.”

Keep reading for a look at the beloved host’s career, from his CBC days to his recent hosting of an exciting “Greatest of All Time” tournament, featuring three of the most recognisable “Jeopardy!” contestants.


Canadian television personality Alex Trebek has been a game show host for over 50 years.

ReutersAlex Trebek.

Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica


79-year-old Trebek grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, which is roughly 250 miles north of Toronto.

Google MapsSudbury, Ontario is the fifth-largest city in Canada by land size.

Source: CBC, TV Guide, World Atlas


Trebek attended the University of Ottawa …

Spiroview Inc/ShutterstockThe University of Ottawa’s main campus.

Source: CBC


… where he began his career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He worked as a journalist and sports announcer before transitioning to hosting shows such as “Music Hop,” a live teen music show, in the 1960s.

Kiev.Victor/ShutterstockCBC headquarters in Toronto.

Source: CBC,Encyclopaedia Britannica


After moving to the United States, Trebek debuted as the host of the game show “High Rollers” …

Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesAlex Trebek hosting ‘High Rollers’ in the 1970s.

Source: Biography


… before he began hosting “Jeopardy!” in 1984.

Frank Lennon/Toronto Star/Getty ImagesTrebek in 1988, a few years after he began hosting.

Source: Biography


“Jeopardy!” is by far Trebek’s most successful show. It has aired more than 8,000 episodes to date.

Alan Greth/AP ImagesAlex Trebek in 1988.

Source: Insider,Bloomberg


Despite its many episodes, the show only tapes 46 days out of the year, fitting multiple episodes in on these days to be aired later.

Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty ImagesA previous podium of Trebek’s with a sample sheet and other items on display outside the ‘Jeopardy!’ studio.

Source: Bloomberg


In 1994, the Game Show Network launched as a new cable network, and began broadcasting “Jeopardy!” and other classic game shows.

REUTERS/Fred ProuserAlex Trebek with ‘Jeopardy!’ with ‘Wheel of Fortune’ creator Merv Griffin and Vanna White celebrating the launch of the Game Show Network in 1994.

Source: Reuters


In 1990, Trebek married Jean Currivan. The couple has adult two children, Matthew and Emily.

Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/Getty ImagesJean Currivan is Trebek’s second wife, he was married previously from 1974-1981.

Source: People,Biography


Trebek’s family was present for his induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999.

ReutersThe Trebek family on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999.

Source: Reuters


Other accolades of his include seven Daytime Emmy Awards. Six of those were awards for Outstanding Game Show Host …

Reed Saxon/AP ImagesTrebek won Emmy Awards in 1989, 1990, 2003, 2006, 2008, and 2019.

Source: Variety, CNN,Vulture


… and one represented a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award. Trebek received the award alongside fellow longtime game show host Pat Sajak.

REUTERS/Richard BrianPat Sajak, host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and Alex Trebek accepting their Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2011.

Source: Reuters


Trebek was also awarded a Peabody Award for “Jeopardy!” the following year in 2012.

REUTERS/Keith Bedford‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer Harry Friedman (left) and host Alex Trebek (right).

Source: Reuters


In 2014, Trebek was awarded a Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter. With 6,829 episodes hosted at the time, he surpassed Bob Barker’s record on “Price Is Right.”

E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment/Getty ImagesTrebek celebrating with a Guinness World Record cake and a display of the show’s Emmy Awards in 2005.

Source: Guinness World Records, Global News


Will Ferrell famously portrayed Alex Trebek’s iconic role during his time on SNL for the recurring “Celebrity Jeopardy!” skits. Trebek himself made a guest appearance in 2002.

Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesFrom left to right, Will Ferrell, Alex Trebek, and SNL actors Dean Edwards, Jimmy Fallon, Winona Ryder, and Darrell Hammond.

Source: Reuters


Trebek has also made many other television appearances over the years, usually as himself. He has appeared on shows such as “Golden Girls,” “Cheers,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and most recently, “Orange is the New Black.”

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty ImagesTrebek on an episode of ‘Golden Girls’ in 1992.

Source: IMDb


Today, 79-year-old Trebek reportedly earns a $US10 million salary.

Emma McIntyre/Getty ImagesTrebek in Los Angeles in 2017.

Source: CNN


Last March, Trebek announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He’s had previous health complications including surgery for blood clots in 2018 and a minor heart attack in 2007.

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesIn his announcement of his cancer diagnosis, Trebek said he planned to ‘fight it’ because he had three years left in his ‘Jeopardy!’ contract.

Source: Bloomberg


Trebek previously named several possible replacements as the host of “Jeopardy!”, including NHL announcer Alex Faust and CNN analyst Laura Coates.

Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM)Laura Coates in 2017.

Source: The New York Times


In the time since his diagnosis, Trebek has continued to host “Jeopardy!,” even helming a “Greatest of All Time” tournament featuring popular past contestants Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter.

Erin McCandless/ABC via Getty ImagesKen Jennings won the ‘Greatest of All Time’ multi-episode tournament, hosted by Trebek.


Source:
Business Insider


On Wednesday, Trebek posted an emotional update about his health on social media — he’d reached the one-year survival mark.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesAlex Trebek accepting the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in May 2019.

“The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,” Trebek said in video posted to “Jeopardy!” social media accounts. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”

Trebek also said that he and his oncologist are working to make sure he lives to see another year. “If we take it one day at a time with a positive attitude,” he continued, “anything is possible.”

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