It is interesting how some things get to you. In the midst of all the election news, not be mention a bunch of other items going on in my life, I am deeply saddened to hear the news that Alex Trebek, who has been the host of the syndicated television game show “Jeopardy” since 1984, has died at the age of 80. He had been fighting advanced pancreatic cancer, which he revealed to his audience in March of 2019.
I am actually old enough to remember the first iteration of the popular answer and question program, which aired during the day on NBC from 1964 to 1975, hosted by Art Fleming. As a college student I frequently joined my classmates around the dorm’s communal television to watch around the lunch hour. A dormmate in the class ahead of mine was a star when she appeared on Jeopardy.
This is a program for smart people to play. The questions are hard. But it is also a program for inquisitive people who want to learn. You frequently discover something you didn’t already know when playing Jeopardy. It also helps to be able to push a button very quickly!
Trebek hosted the evening syndicated version of Jeopardy into its 37th season. And for many, many years “Jeopardy” has been a staple in my house, my wife Amy and I watching together each weeknight. Trebek certainly seemed like the guy you most wanted for a next door neighbor. We sweated the last 20 months as Alex kept us informed on his health status. Somehow, you knew this day was coming, but now that it is here you are mourning someone you felt of as a friend. He will be missed.