Alex Trebek, born in 1940 in Canada, attended Jesuit schools until age 12 and graduated from the University of Ottawa High School in 1957. He continued at the University of Ottawa, studying philosophy, but switched to a career in journalism after his college graduation in 1961. Moving away from journalism, Trebek moved to Los Angeles to pursue a television career in 1966. He hosted various game shows from 1973 until 1982, landing his "Jeopardy!" hosting job in 1984.
Trebek's civic contributions include participating in 13 tours with the United Service Organizations, for which he was awarded the USO Bob Hope Award, traveling the world on behalf of World Vision and adopting a village in Zambia where he helped build a school, teachers' homes and a medical facility. In 2011 Alex Trebek and "Jeopardy!" won a Peabody Award, and he received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Library of American Broadcasting named Trebek one of the giants of broadcasting in 2013, the same year he became an inductee of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. It was also in 2013 that Trebek received the Alexander Graham Bell Medal from the National Geographic Society in recognition of 25 years of service as host of the National Geographic Bee.
Alex Trebek has appeared in over 70 movies and television programs, often playing himself, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999. Trebek won five daytime Emmy Awards through his work with "Jeopardy!," and a heart attack in 2007 only kept him from the program for a few months.
Married twice, Trebek has two children with his second wife, Jean Currivan, whom he married in 1990.