Alex Trebek has hosted more than 8,000 episodes of ‘Jeopardy!’ over three decades. Here’s a look at the 7-time Emmy Award winner’s life, from his start as a Canadian sports announcer to his cancer diagnosis.

Alex Trebek has been the host of “Jeopardy!” for 36 years – that amounts to over 8,000 hosted episodes – but he’s been at the helm of game shows for even longer.

After starting his television career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Trebek went on to host dozens of shows along with securing a recurring role as the host of game show “Jeopardy!” in 1984. The show originally debuted in 1964.

Despite rumors of his retirement, Trebek’s contract is effective until 2022, which was reaffirmed when he announced his diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer last March. At the time, he said he planned to beat the disease, as he was in a contract to host “Jeopardy” for an additional three years.

On Wednesday, in a video shared on “Jeopardy!” social media accounts, Trebek provided an update on his health. “The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,” he said. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”

Trebek also said that he and his oncologist are working to make sure he lives to see another year: “If we take it one day at a time with a positive attitude,” he continued, “anything is possible.”

Amidst a long list of lifetime achievements, Trebek holds the record for being the longest game show host, along with seven total Emmy Awards. He has also made countless cameos on popular television shows, from “Golden Girls” to “How I Met Your Mother.”

Keep reading for a look at the beloved host’s career, from his CBC days to his recent hosting of an exciting “Greatest of All Time” tournament, featuring three of the most recognizable “Jeopardy!” contestants.


Canadian television personality Alex Trebek has been a game show host for over 50 years.

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Alex Trebek.
source
Reuters

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica


79-year-old Trebek grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, which is roughly 250 miles north of Toronto.

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Sudbury, Ontario is the fifth-largest city in Canada by land size.
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Google Maps

Source: CBC, TV Guide, World Atlas


Trebek attended the University of Ottawa …

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The University of Ottawa’s main campus.
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Spiroview Inc/Shutterstock

Source: CBC


… where he began his career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He worked as a journalist and sports announcer before transitioning to hosting shows such as “Music Hop,” a live teen music show, in the 1960s.

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CBC headquarters in Toronto.
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Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock

Source: CBC, Encyclopedia Britannica


After moving to the United States, Trebek debuted as the host of the game show “High Rollers” …

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Alex Trebek hosting “High Rollers” in the 1970s.
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Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Source: Biography


… before he began hosting “Jeopardy!” in 1984.

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Trebek in 1988, a few years after he began hosting.
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Frank Lennon/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Source: Biography


“Jeopardy!” is by far Trebek’s most successful show. It has aired more than 8,000 episodes to date.

Source: Insider, Bloomberg


Despite its many episodes, the show only tapes 46 days out of the year, fitting multiple episodes in on these days to be aired later.

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A previous podium of Trebek’s with a sample sheet and other items on display outside the “Jeopardy!” studio.
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Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


In 1994, the Game Show Network launched as a new cable network, and began broadcasting “Jeopardy!” and other classic game shows.

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Alex Trebek with “Jeopardy!” with “Wheel of Fortune” creator Merv Griffin and Vanna White celebrating the launch of the Game Show Network in 1994.
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REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Source: Reuters


In 1990, Trebek married Jean Currivan. The couple has adult two children, Matthew and Emily.

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Jean Currivan is Trebek’s second wife, he was married previously from 1974-1981.
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Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/Getty Images

Source: People, Biography


Trebek’s family was present for his induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999.

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The Trebek family on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999.
source
Reuters

Source: Reuters


Other accolades of his include seven Daytime Emmy Awards. Six of those were awards for Outstanding Game Show Host …

Source: Variety, CNN, Vulture


… and one represented a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award. Trebek received the award alongside fellow longtime game show host Pat Sajak.

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Pat Sajak, host of “Wheel of Fortune” and Alex Trebek accepting their Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2011.
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REUTERS/Richard Brian

Source: Reuters


Trebek was also awarded a Peabody Award for “Jeopardy!” the following year in 2012.

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“Jeopardy!” executive producer Harry Friedman (left) and host Alex Trebek (right).
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REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Source: Reuters


In 2014, Trebek was awarded a Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter. With 6,829 episodes hosted at the time, he surpassed Bob Barker’s record on “Price Is Right.”

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Trebek celebrating with a Guinness World Record cake and a display of the show’s Emmy Awards in 2005.
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E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment/Getty Images

Source: Guinness World Records, Global News


Will Ferrell famously portrayed Alex Trebek’s iconic role during his time on SNL for the recurring “Celebrity Jeopardy!” skits. Trebek himself made a guest appearance in 2002.

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From left to right, Will Ferrell, Alex Trebek, and SNL actors Dean Edwards, Jimmy Fallon, Winona Ryder, and Darrell Hammond.
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Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Source: Reuters


Trebek has also made many other television appearances over the years, usually as himself. He has appeared on shows such as “Golden Girls,” “Cheers,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and most recently, “Orange is the New Black.”

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Trebek on an episode of “Golden Girls” in 1992.
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Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Source: IMDb


Today, 79-year-old Trebek reportedly earns a $10 million salary.

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Trebek in Los Angeles in 2017.
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Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Source: CNN


Last March, Trebek announced that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He’s had previous health complications including surgery for blood clots in 2018 and a minor heart attack in 2007.

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In his announcement of his cancer diagnosis, Trebek said he planned to “fight it” because he had three years left in his “Jeopardy!” contract.
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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


Trebek previously named several possible replacements as the host of “Jeopardy!”, including NHL announcer Alex Faust and CNN analyst Laura Coates.

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Laura Coates in 2017.
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Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Source: The New York Times


In the time since his diagnosis, Trebek has continued to host “Jeopardy!,” even helming a “Greatest of All Time” tournament featuring popular past contestants Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter.

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Ken Jennings won the “Greatest of All Time” multi-episode tournament, hosted by Trebek.
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Erin McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


On Wednesday, Trebek posted an emotional update about his health on social media — he’d reached the one-year survival mark.

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Alex Trebek accepting the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in May 2019.
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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

“The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,” Trebek said in video posted to “Jeopardy!” social media accounts. “I’m very happy to report I have just reached that marker.”

Trebek also said that he and his oncologist are working to make sure he lives to see another year. “If we take it one day at a time with a positive attitude,” he continued, “anything is possible.”