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Alex Trebek of Jeopardy
Alex Trebek of Jeopardy
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Culture > News

Remembering Alex Trebek

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rutgers chapter.

Alex Trebek was a staple to many households throughout the nation and has graced my family room television during many nights throughout my twenty-one years of life. Born on July 22, 1940, Alex—whose birth name was actually George Alexander Trebek—was raised in a bilingual (French and English) household in Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1961 with a degree in philosophy, but a budding interest in broadcast. Before landing the job in which he held for 36 years prior to his death, Trebek hosted a number of other game shows including The Wizard of Odds (1973-74), High Rollers (1978-80), and Double Dare (1976-77) (not the Nickelodeon game show FYI).

Trebek became the host of the revived version of Jeopardy! in 1984. I’ve definitely had phases where I watched Jeopardy! on and off throughout my lifetime, but Trebek’s grace and passion for knowledge always brought me back. Alex Jacob, a Jeopardy All-Star who won the 2015 Tournament of Champions, shared memories of his experiences with Trebek on Twitter. Jacob tweeted: “I really feel like when you got something wrong and he said ‘Ooh, sorry,’ he genuinely was sorry.” The Canadian accent fit Trebek’s demeanor so well. Jacob even compiled clips of Trebek saying the word ‘genre,’ which can be found on Youtube.

My latest Jeopardy! phase resurged when James Holzhauer revived the game, winning 32 games in a row from April to June 2019, resultantly bringing the show back into the limelight and my home’s television. Holzhauer expressed his condolences for Trebek on Twitter, tweeting: “It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex.” A reply to Holzhauer’s tweet by Twitter user @rysenkari touched on James’ presence on the Jeopardy! host; “I think you kept him going for at least a few more months. You re-energized him.” Along with Holzhauer, Trebek’s fans provided Trebek with the strength to keep hosting through his battle with pancreatic cancer. The Jeopardy! Twitter account shared a video of Trebek thanking his fans for all of the tweets, texts, emails, cards, and letters he received following his diagnosis. Another clear indication of his love for the public was his will to keep hosting the show for as long as he possibly could.

Alex Trebek’s final episode of Jeopardy! will air on Christmas Day. Though Trebek may no longer be with us physically, he will be with us spiritually as he has inspired so many individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Just this past week, Jeopardy! posted a clip of its recent winner, Burt Thakur, thanking Trebek for helping him learn English as a child. Thakur’s story is one of many in which Trebek played an integral role in the lives of many. Trebek will be remembered for the lasting impact he’s had on the lives of many. If you’re not already crying, I encourage you to watch this clip from this year’s College Tournament. Rest in peace, Mr. Trebek. Thank you for being a positive constant in all of our lives throughout the years.

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Sam F

Rutgers '21