Alex Trebek

From Academic Kids

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Alex Trebek is the host of the gameshow "Jeopardy"
George Alexander Trebek (born July 22, 1940) is a well known Canadian game show host of the syndicated version of the popular Jeopardy! television program for almost 20 years. He has hosted numerous game/quiz shows and has appeared many times in movies and television series, usually as himself.

Early life

Alex Trebek was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, to a Ukrainian immigrant father and a French-Canadian mother. He graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Philosophy. Interested in a career in broadcast news, he began his broadcasting career working for the CBC as a newscaster. Specializing in national news and covering a wide range of special events for the CBC's radio and television divisions, Trebek earned a reputation as a broadcaster who maintained his poise and composure in the most difficult settings.

Rise in television

In 1966 he got his own game show, entitled Reach for the Top (now hosted by Daniel Richler). In 1973 he moved to the United States and worked for NBC as host of a new game show, The Wizard of Odds. A year later, Trebek hosted the popular Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley game show High Rollers, which had two incarnations on NBC (1974-76 and 1978-80). In 1984 he was chosen to host the revived version of the trivia game show Jeopardy! (replacing Art Fleming who had retired), and has been its host ever since. He was also the host of Classic Concentration and the Canadian game show Pitfall.

In 1991, he became the only host in TV history to helm three daily national game shows at once -- Jeopardy! , Classic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth.

Trebek has sported an iconic moustache during various phases of his career, much to the enjoyment of his viewers.

Honors and Awards

Having skillfully guided the series to years of unprecedented success, Alex Trebek has been personally honored with two Emmy Awards (best television host) and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (located at 6501 Hollywood Boulevard, near those for Ann-Margret and Vincent Price).

Trebek is active with a number of other educational organizations and charities, donates a great deal of his free time to touring overseas with the USO, and serving as a spokesman for World Vision. A favorite role of his is host of the annual National Geographic Bee in the U.S. and Canada. He is on the boards of the National Geographic Society Education Foundation and the National Advisory Council for the Literary Volunteers of America. Active with the World Vision charitable organization, he has traveled to many Third World countries with World Vision projects, taping reports on the group's efforts on behalf of children around the world.

Just kidding

In 1997, the producers of Wheel of Fortune (the same ones who also produce Jeopardy!) were so impressed by Trebek's hosting skills that they let him switch positions with Wheel's Pat Sajak for an April Fool's edition of both shows. While Sajak took over the hosting duties on Jeopardy!, Trebek had Sajak and his cohost Vanna White as contestants on Wheel. Sajak's wife was in charge of revealing the letters on the letterboard (a duty normally handled by White).


Will Ferrell created a skit on Saturday Night Live entitled Celebrity Jeopardy! where he portrayed Alex Trebek asking humorously simplified versions of Jeopardy! questions to actors playing over-the-top versions of real-life celebrities.

Recent events

Trebek became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1998. He now lives in Studio City, California with his wife (Jean) and two children (Matthew & Emily). He owns and manages Creston Farms, a 700 acre (2.8 km²) ranch near Paso Robles in Creston, California which breeds, trains and provides state-of-the-art care for thoroughbred race horses and until recently he also owned a winery called Creston Vineyards.

On January 30, 2004, Trebek escaped injury after falling asleep behind the wheel of his pickup truck. He bumped into a string of mailboxes and ended up in a ditch. At that time, Trebek was driving by himself on a rural road.


Shows Alex Trebek has hosted:

  • Music Hop (1952-1972) - Host (1963-1964)
  • Vacation Time - Co-Host (1964)
  • Reach for the Top - Quizmaster (1966-1973)
  • The Wizard of Odds (1973) - Host
  • Double Dare (1976-1977) - Host
  • The $128,000 Question - Host (1977-1978)
  • Battlestars - Host (1981-1983)
  • Pitfall (1983) - Host
  • Jeopardy! (1964) - Host (1984-present)
  • Classic Concentration (1987-1991) - Host
  • To Tell the Truth (1990-1991) - Host (Feb-May 1991)
  • Wheel of Fortune - Host for one episode in 1997
  • Barris & Company - Co-Host/Announcer
  • High Rollers - Host (NBC)
  • Outside/Inside - Host
  • Pick and Choose - Host
  • Stars on Ice - Host
  • Strategy - Host
  • Super Jeopardy! - Host
  • T.G.I.F. - Announcer
  • Live from the Hollywood Bowl - Host of annual live broadcasts.

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