Alex Trebek (1940–2020) Tribute List

November 8, 2020
Alex Trebek, who hosted the hit TV quiz show Jeopardy! from 1984 until this year, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, he began working in broadcasting while still in college at the University of Ottowa, reading the news and hosting a quiz show. He hosted a few other game shows before beginning the 36-year run that made him one of the most popular figures on television. Trebek won many awards, and set a world record for the most game show episodes hosted by the same person: 6,829. This vocabulary list includes words from interviews with Trebek and from his autobiography The Answer Is... Reflections on My Life.
"We can get through the pandemic if we follow the suggestions, the rules, laid out by the CDC, by the doctors, the epidemiologists, by the scientific people. If we follow what they want us to do, and if we are assiduous in doing that, we can get a grip on this pandemic."
– NPR interview (July 21, 2020)
"He's the avuncular host of a popular quiz show who has been around, it seems, forever."
– NPR interview (July 21, 2020)
"I'm very conscious of the fact that my job is to work it so that the contestants are able to demonstrate their skills to the best of their ability."
– NPR interview (July 21, 2020)
"I see America in a crisis situation right now in so many ways. And I want people to open up their hearts, and open up their hands, and open up their wallets to help each other. Because if ever there was a time when we needed to do that, that time is now."
– NPR interview (July 21, 2020)
"Maybe toughness is just dealing with life, dealing with what is handed to you, and trying to make the very best of it without falling apart, without denigrating anybody else in the process."
– NPR interview (July 21, 2020)
"I think what makes ' Jeopardy!' special is that, among all the quiz and game shows out there, ours tends to encourage learning."
"We are all experts in our own little niches."
"My job is to provide the atmosphere and assistance to the contestants to get them to perform at their very best. And if I'm successful doing that, I will be perceived as a nice guy, and the audience will think of me as being a bit of a star."
– Washington Post interview (Apr 29, 2012)
“I was just reading something by Immanuel Kant about perpetual peace, and I’m looking at that, and it’s a great idea.”
– Washington Post interview (Apr 29, 2012)
"I started recollecting things that I had not given any thought to in many, many years, and it felt good."
– NPR interview (July 21, 2020)
"For people to deny global warming is beyond me. The planet is in trouble. It didn't happen overnight. It's taken 150 years to get to where we are today. So, we're not going to remedy this problem in a year or two. But we have to do something about it."
– The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life
“...the longer I've lived with cancer, the more my definition of toughness has changed. I used to think not crying meant you were tough. Now I think crying means you're tough. It means you're strong enough to be honest and vulnerable."
– The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life
"I don't spend any time whatsoever thinking about what might have been."
– Washington Post interview (Apr 29, 2012)

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