Sudbury Native and Jeopardy Host Alex Trebek Passes Away

Alex

Sudbury native and longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has passed away at the age of 80.

Trebek, who was born in Sudbury, Ontario, worked as a broadcaster in Canada with the CBC before finding fame in the United States as the host of a reboot of the game show Jeopardy! in the 1980's.  Before that, Trebek hosted a number of other game shows, including The Wizard of OddsDouble DareHigh RollersBattlestarsClassic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth. Trebek also made appearances in numerous television series, in which he usually played himself.

A tweet from the account of the game show said, "Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Alex."

Trebek revealed in 2019 that he had been battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Trebek was born in Sudbury July 22, 1940. He was the son of George Terebeychuk, a chef who had emigrated from the Ukraine as a child, and Lucille Lagacé, a Franco-Ontarian.  

Trebek took his first job at age 13 as a bellhop at the Nickel Range Hotel, formerly located at the corner of Elm and Frood, where his father worked as a pastry chef.

In an interview with CBC Morning North, he told host Marcus Schwabe that he attended the former St. Louise de Gonzague on Mackenzie Street. He said "I got whacked by the nuns for throwing snowballs and bothering the girls."  At the time, he said he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. "But things worked out reasonably well in broadcasting so I have no complaints." Eventually, Trebek worked with the CBC in Ottawa before taking a position with CBC Toronto. 

Trebek returned to Sudbury in 2015 and met some distant cousins, the Montpellier family, living in the Flour Mill.  During that visit, Trebek told the family that he was impressed with the environmental changes he'd seen in the city since he was young.  "It's a beautiful place now," he said. "It's green and (his family) pointed out when (Trebek) was there that … Sudburians are the happiest people in the country."

His most recent professional appearance in Sudbury was also in 2015. It came in the form of a cameo in segments of The Amazing Race Canada on CTV.  Segments were recorded at Bell Park on Ramsay Lake where Trebek says he spent many summers.

Trebek released a memoir in July of this year entitled "The Answer Is ..." which he said was a way of reviewing his entire life ..."  (including growing up in Sudbury.) 

Sudbury mayor Brian Bigger announced on the day of Trebek's passing that the city plans to create a virtual book of condolences where residents can leave messages for the Trebek family.  Flags at City Hall have also be lowered to half-staff in Trebek's memory.

Sony has confirmed that Jeopardy episodes hosted by Trebek will air through December 25. His last day in the studio was October 29. the release also says that Jeopardy is not announcing plans for a new host at this time.

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