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Alex Trebek and His Struggle With Pancreatic Cancer – Viking Call

Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper


Alex Trebek and His Struggle With Pancreatic Cancer

One of the world’s most iconic game show hosts, Alex Trebek, passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 8, 2020. He was 80 years old and well known for hosting the famous game show Jeopardy! for all 37 of the show’s seasons. In fact, he held the Guinness World Record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter!

Trebek passed away from struggles with pancreatic cancer, which he was diagnosed with in March of 2019. He had Stage IV cancer, which, for most people, the outlook isn’t too positive with this diagnosis. But Trebek was a fighter. “He was back at work less than a week later,” according to an article from USA Today

Pancreatic cancer tends to affect anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 Americans each year, and roughly 9% survive. The pancreas is the compartment behind the stomach that aids in digesting food, and this type of cancer is considered to be one of the most deadly types of cancers on Earth, with no symptoms found in the early stages. It is often caught too late for the person to survive throughout the rough treatment of cancer. Pancreatic cancer spreads quickly through the body and there isn’t much that can stop it. Treatments include surgically removing the pancreas, chemotherapy, and radiation, and typical symptoms of this type of cancer include loss of appetite and weight, although those can be symptoms typical of many other diseases as well.

Alex Trebek, born and raised in Canada, began his career first as a radio and television newscaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). “The only reason I got into broadcasting was, I needed money to pay for my junior and senior years at college, and they hired me, those fools!” Trebek had once admitted. In 1973, he moved to the United States to host a variety of game shows, including Classic Concentration, Double Dare, and To Tell The Truth, to name a few. 

Throughout his many years on TV, Trebek won seven Emmys for the exuberant personality he demonstrated as a host. Although he had a sense of humor, he was often seen as a more serious and dignified personality on Jeopardy! He had many facial hair styles throughout the show, ranging from mustaches to beards, but ultimately ending his final episodes with a clean-shaven face. These choices made for good gossip amongst his fans who tuned in every weekday to watch Jeopardy!

Many fans believed that Alex knew all the answers to each of the questions he asked on Jeopardy! He might have been the smartest man on Earth, seeing as he had to have learned a lot of fun and interesting trivia and facts within his 37 seasons as the host on Jeopardy! He once said, “I think what makes Jeopardy! special is that, among all the quiz and game shows out there, ours tends to encourage learning.”

Alex Trebek will be remembered by all for his incredible hosting talents and his serious, and comical at times, personality on Jeopardy!


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