Alex Trebek Biography

Alex Trebek is a famous television personality and is better known as the host of the popular game show ‘Jeopardy!’ This biography of Alex Trebek provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Alex Trebek
Quick Facts

Birthday: July 22, 1940

Nationality: Canadian, American

Famous: TV Anchors TV Presenters

Age: 78 Years, 78 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: George Alexander Trebek

Born Country: Canada

Born in: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Famous as: American-Canadian television personality

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Jean Currivan Trebek (m. 1990), Elaine Callei Trebek (m. 1974–1981)

father: George Edward Trebek

mother: Lucille Lagacé

children: Emily Trebek, Matthew Trebek

More Facts

education: University of Ottawa, Toronto's Malvern Collegiate Institute, Lisgar Collegiate Institute

awards: 2010 - Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Gold Medal for his contribution to geographic education and the popular study of geography
1989-1990 - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
2003 - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host

2006 - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
2008 - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host

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George Alexander “Alex” Trebek is the host of the highly popular game show ‘Jeopardy!’ that he has been hosting since 1984. ‘Jeopardy!’ is a television game show in which the contestants are presented with general knowledge clues for which they have to form the questions. Trebek was selected to host its syndicated version and proved to be a very capable host. Prior to hosting this game show, he had hosted several other shows like ‘Pitfall’ and ‘The Wizard of Odds’. As a college student he decided to study philosophy though he realized over the duration of his course that he wanted to pursue a career in journalism. He began his professional life as a newscaster and broadcaster for CBC where he specialized in national news. Even though very successful as a newscaster he eventually shifted over to hosting game shows. A native of Canada, he hosted the Canadian quiz show ‘Reach for the Top’ for seven years before moving to the U.S. to further his career. One of his initial jobs in the U.S. was to host the new game show, ‘The Wizard of Odds’. He reached the heights of success when chosen to host the syndicated version of the game show ‘Jeopardy!’ for which he has won several Daytime Emmy Awards.

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Alex Trebek
Childhood & Early Life
  • He is the son of George Trebek and Lucille. His father was a chef in a local hotel.
  • As a young boy he went to Jesuit schools and graduated from Lisgar Collegiate Institute in 1957. He went to the University of Ottawa to study philosophy and received his degree in 1961. While he was at the university he became a member of the English Debating Society.
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  • He began his journalistic career as a newscaster and sportscaster with the CBC channel. His specialty was national news and he soon gained a reputation for being a cool headed and trustworthy journalist. He covered several special events for his channels’ radio and television divisions.
  • Even though his role as a newscaster was much appreciated, he changed gears and became the host of the Canadian quiz show ‘Reach for the Top’ in 1966 in which teams of high school students competed against each other.
  • He moved to the U.S. in 1973 to further his career. His first job there was to host the new NBC game show ‘The Wizard of Odds’. The show was short-lived and lasted only one season.
  • He started hosting the game show ‘High Rollers’ in 1974. He was in the show for its two runs—from 1974-76, and 1978-80, and also in its syndicated season during 1975-76.
  • During 1977-78 he hosted the second season of ‘The $128,000 Question’. In the show each participant was quizzed in a category of their expertise. The show never registered high viewership ratings and was discontinued after the second season.
  • After hosting so many game shows, he became very popular as a show host and was invited to make several guest appearances as a panelist or player on several other shows including NBC’s ‘Card Sharks’ and ‘The Magnificent Marble Machine’.
  • He was asked to host the syndicated version of the game show ‘Jeopardy!’ which was created by the famous Merv Griffin who had also created the ‘Wheel of Fortune’. Trebek began hosting the show in 1984 and is continuing this role till date.
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  • The show ‘Jeopardy!’ is a unique game show in which the contestants are provided clues to general knowledge in the form of answers and have to phrase their responses in the form of questions. The show was very popular and was the winner of several Daytime Emmy Awards.
  • He created history in 1991 when he became the first person in American broadcast history to host three game shows at the same time—‘Jeopardy!’, ‘Classic Concentration’, and ‘To Tell the Truth’.
Major Works
  • He is best known as the host of the Award winning game show, ‘Jeopardy!’ which made him a famous household name. He has been hosting the syndicated version of the game show since 1984 and is expected to retire in 2016.
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Awards & Achievements
  • He is the recipient of five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host for the game show ‘Jeopardy!’ the latest win being in 2008.
  • He received the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Gold Medal for his contribution to geographic education and the popular study of geography in 2010.
  • Trebek and the show ‘Jeopardy!’ were presented with the Peabody Award in 2011 for "encouraging, celebrating and rewarding knowledge".
  • He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2011 for his contributions to the field of entertainment.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He married Elaine Callei in 1974. The marriage ended in divorce in 1981. His second marriage was to Jean Currivan in 1990. The couple has two children.
  • He is actively involved with the charitable organization World Vision and has traveled to many third world countries with the organization’s projects.

See the events in life of Alex Trebek in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Alex Trebek Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- October 16, 2017

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