Beloved television game show host Alex Trebek died on Sunday, Nov. 8, after a public battle with pancreatic cancer. The 80-year-old hosted the popular quiz show “Jeopardy!” for 36 years.
Known as a straight arrow on television and a mild-mannered philanthropist and family man in his personal life, the popular Trebek admitted to a “lost weekend” years ago in Malibu. In Trebek’s memoir “The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life” he writes of a humorous—if not scary—incident. At a Malibu party in the 1970s, Trebek, who said he “loved” chocolate, ate four or five brownies, not knowing the dessert was laced with hash. “The party was on a Friday night, I didn’t leave their home until Monday morning. No exaggeration,” the Canadian-born Trebek wrote.
Trebek and his Pepperdine graduate wife, Jean Currivan, were philanthropists to many organizations. They supported the American Film Institute and gave $500,000 to help house the homeless in the Los Angeles area through Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission.
In 2019, just two months after his diagnosis, Trebek gave a moving send-off to a crowd at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s PurpleStride Los Angeles walk. The Trebek Family Foundation supports global initiatives as well, including the National Geographic Society. The iconic television host donated $2 million to endow a scholarship for Harlem, NYC, residents to attend Fordham University, where his son is a graduate. In a recent emotional moment on the show, a contestant who won thanked Trebek and the show for helping him learn English as a second language.