Alex Trebek Dies at Age 80

Trebek hosted "Jeopardy" since the current version of the show debuted in 1984

Alex Trebek
Alex Trebek before a taping of "Jeopardy! Power Players Week" in 2012 (Kris Connor/Getty)
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The host of one of the most popular game shows in television history has passed away at the age of 80.

Alex Trebek, who was very public about his battle with pancreatic cancer, died on the morning of Sunday, November 8.

The host of Jeopardy since the current version of the quiz show made its syndicated debut in 1984, Trebek became one of the most recognizable and beloved figures on television during his 36-year hosting career.

The winner of six Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Game Show Host Trebek has hosted more episodes of Jeopardy (nearly 8,000) than any other presenter of any other program.

All that screen time has led Trebek to be parodied in skits and storylines on shows including Saturday Night Live, Family GuyThe SimpsonsThe X-Files and on Half Wits, on which Eugene Levy poked fun at him as “Alex Trebel.”

“I thought Eugene captured the private horror a game show host experiences trying to keep things moving on a day where everything is going wrong,” Trebek said of Levy’s take on him.

The owner of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Trebek was named a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2013 and also received a 2011 Peabody Award for “encouraging, celebrating and rewarding knowledge,” according to his official bio.

A native of Ontario, Trebek earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Ottawa before going to work for the CBC covering national news and special events for both radio and television. His first gig on American television was in 1973 as the host of NBC’s short-lived game show Wizard of Odds.

Despite his fame in America, Trebek remained connected with his alma mater and created scholarships there as well as sponsored an ongoing Lecture Series. A longtime supporter of the World Vision organization, Trebek was named an officer of the Order of Canada, his native country’s second-highest civilian honor.

A Los Angeles resident at the time of his death, Trebek leaves behind his wife Jean, daughter Emily and son Matthew.

As Trebek once said: “I’m an analog man in a digital world.” It’s sad that’s no longer the case.

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