Alex Trebek, a well-known Canadian-American television personality and 37-year host of Jeopardy!, passed away on November 8, 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year. He left a mark on his audience, the impact of which will never fade.
Trebek began his career hosting Double Dare and Classic Concentration before becoming the host of Jeopardy! in 1984. He appeared in more than 8,200 episodes, setting the Guinness World Record for hosting the most episodes of a single game show. Moreover, he has won a total of seven Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Game Show Host. Trebek later wrote a book entitled The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life published in July of 2020, to which he donated all proceeds to charity.
Airing weeknights at 7:30 on ABC, Jeopardy! has been a part of people’s lives for decades. People look forward to hearing his familiar voice and polite humor every night, including senior Ryan Marren.
Marren says, “Watching Jeopardy was a family tradition at my house so, in a way, Alex Trebek helped to bring our family together every night.”
Many families appreciate the learning aspect of the show, as do teachers. Spinoffs of the show are often played as review games, or to learn about current events in the form of “NewsNotes,” as social studies teacher Ms. DiGiacomo uses in her classes.
She says, “Alex Trebek is a role model to all teachers I imagine. His vast knowledge base and his ability to pronounce every word accurately astounds me. His patience with the players and his passion for the game are attributes all teachers aspire to.”
One could equate contestants on the show to students in a classroom, and Trebek as their teacher. He shows a high level of compassion to those who compete on the show, as teachers do with their students.
DiGiacomo also explains how students can learn a vast amount of information from him. However, what she appreciates the most are the life lessons Trebek taught. She describes how he was a model for how people should interact with each other.
Trebek filmed his last few episodes soon before passing away. According to jeopardy.com, the show’s official website, Jeopardy will air 10 of Trebek’s best episodes in the weeks of December 21 and December 28, 2020. Trebek’s last week of episodes will air starting January 4, 2021. Following his final episode, the show will transition to guest hosts.
Foran parent and avid Jeopardy! viewer, Peter Mema, says “We’ll miss his sharp wit, and although Jeopardy! will never be the same, the future of the show is bright.”