What is a Canadian icon? Remembering Alex Trebek

Canadian-American game show host Alex Trebek died at the age of 80 on Nov. 8, 2020. (Twitter/Jeopardy!)

Kayla Brinston, a St. Thomas University graduate, said she discovered Jeopardy! after she graduated from STU in 2013. She said the game show’s host, Alex Trebek, was the joy of the program because of his joyful way of being. Her favourite aspect of Trebek was the way he treated the participants, welcoming but fun.

“It is sad to know that someone as happy as him has to leave,” said Brinston. “Every time I see Jeopardy! in the future, I will remember Trebek as an inspiration to a whole generation.”

Trebek died Nov. 8 at 80 after a gruelling battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in March of 2019.

The Canadian icon was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. The start to his broadcasting career came from working for the CBC on TV and radio in the 1960s and early ’70s. Still, Trebek is most famous for hosting the trivia game show Jeopardy! The first episode aired in September 1984 and captivated millions of viewers, young and old.

Lisa Anne Ross, a fine arts professor at St. Thomas University, said she used to watch the show in the ’90s when she was a university student. (Submitted: Lisa Anne Ross)

Lisa Anne Ross, a fine arts professor at STU, said she used to watch the show in the ’90s when she was a university student.

“I think Trebek was kind of [a] sweet, kind, considerate man,” said Ross. “He seemed to carry himself with grace and good honour.”

Ross also said it’s sad when someone passes away before their time.

Celebrities and past Jeopardy! contestants like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer shared their feelings and condolences on Instagram and Twitter. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made a statement, saying he and his wife offer their deepest condolences to Trebek’s family, friends and his many fans.

Jeopardy! will air the remaining episodes Trebek previously recorded. There are no plans to find a new host, according to an NBC article.

Mark Tunney, a St. Thomas University journalism professor, said he started watching Jeopardy! when he was eight or nine years old. (Facebook/Mark Tunney)

Mark Tunney, a STU journalism professor, said he started watching Jeopardy! when he was eight or nine years old.

“I’m a trivia person, I have participated in trivia leagues in Fredericton and Saint John,” said Tunney. “I was always interested in participating in the show but never tried it.”

He said he wasn’t shocked about Trebek’s death because of Trebek’s cancer. Tunney said Trebek has been with him for much of his life.

“Every time I arrived home, he was on air on the TV,” said Tunney. “He has been part of many lives.”