Biography

As the seemingly omniscient host of the long-running quiz show Jeopardy!, this Canada-born personality has drawn both admiration and ire. Although his detractors dub him pretentious and robotic, his fans love his consistently mild-mannered demeanor. The fact that he has appeared as himself (or some version thereof) in a number of projects, including Wrestlemania and the first Charlie's Angels movie, seems to imply that Trebek actually doesn't take himself that seriously. After graduating from college with a philosophy degree, Trebek became a TV and radio news correspondent in his homeland. He segued to hosting in the 1960s and took his first Stateside gig on The Wizard of Odds in 1973. Myriad game-show gigs followed, but Jeopardy! made him a star. During his tenure, he hosted an array of other shows and specials, including (for a brief period) three game shows---Jeopardy!, Classic Concentration and To Tell the Truth---simultaneously. Except for shaving off his moustache in 2001, neither Trebek nor his signature series (which he was forced to leave briefly following a 2007 heart attack) have changed much over the years, which may just be the key to the series'---and the man's---success.

Fast Facts

  • Once considered becoming a priest but changed his mind after spending a summer at a Trappist monastery.
  • Began career as a reporter on Canadian radio and TV in 1961 before becoming a game-show host.
  • Came up with the idea of including several separate tournaments for contestants on Jeopardy!, including teens, seniors, celebrities and college students.
  • Has landed bit parts (often as himself) in more than 70 movies and TV shows, including the films White Men Can't Jump (1992), Short Cuts (1993) and Charlie's Angels (2000).
  • Has done numerous USO tours and won the Bob Hope Entertainment Award for his efforts in 1998.
  • Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999 and was inducted into the California Broadcasting Association's Hall of Fame. Seven years later, he received a star on the Canada Walk of Fame.
  • Has won five Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Game Show Host.
  • Suffered a heart attack in late 2007, returning to work on Jeopardy! early the following year.

Relationships

  • Elaine Callei — Ex-wife
  • Emily Trebek — Daughter
  • Lucille Lagace — Mother
  • Matthew Trebek — Son
  • George Edward Trebek — Father
  • Jean Currivan Trebek — Wife

College

  • University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (BS in Philosophy, 1961)

Details

  • Birth Name: Giorgi Suka-Alex Trebek
  • Birth Place: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  • Birthday: July 22, 1940, Cancer
  • Profession: Game-show host
  • User Rating:4.11 out of 5 (124 ratings)
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