Longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek has died, age 80

Had battled pancreatic cancer for two years

Art Fleming was the original host, but it’s Alex Trebek who many will remember as the host of Jeopardy.

For 36 years he hosted the television game show. Canadians will also remember him as the host of Music Hop on CBC in 1963 and the high school quiz show Reach for the Top. He was also a radio host for CBC.

The Sudbury native moved to the United States in 1973 to host a new game show The Wizard of Odds. Then came stints on Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth.

He took the helm of Jeopardy in 1984 and never looked back.

The New York Times called him a steady and predictable host, “a no-nonsense presence, efficient in his role.”

While other game shows came and went (more than 400) Jeopardy soldiered on.

In the 60s, Jeopardy was a noon-hour staple in many homes. With Trebek as host, people organized their evening TV hours around the show, pushing an imaginary buzzer, providing the question for the answers, and celebrating when they were right and the contestants were wrong.

Trebek received 31 nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host. He won the award seven times.

In 2017, he received the Order of Canada medal for his TV work and commitment to educational, environmental and humanitarian causes.

Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago. He noted his prognosis was not good but vowed to fight the cancer in hopes of beating the odds, joking that he was contractually obligated to Jeopardy for three more years.

Trebek announced in March he had survived one year of cancer treatment, saying his prognosis to survive that long was just 18 percent. He was confident he would survive another year.

Trebek died at his home Sunday morning, surrounded by family and friends.

banner image via Jeopardy/Facebook