A native of Ontario, Canada, Trebek graduated from the University of Ottawa with degrees in Philosophy. Interested in a career in broadcast news, he joined the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Canada's premier network. While there, he specialized in national news and covered a wide range of special events for CBC's radio and television divisions, earning a reputation as a broadcaster who maintained his poise and composure in the most difficult settings.
Trebek was first noticed by American viewers when he hosted the game show, Wizard of Odds. After several other hosting roles, Trebek was chosen as host of Jeopardy! Trebek continues to remain impressed with the series' fast-paced nature and the contestants' sophisticated level of knowledge.
"It continues to be unlike any series on television," Trebek notes. "The format is an exciting concept that challenges people to think quickly and make split-second decisions under pressure."
Trebek has challenged and entertained millions of viewers worldwide, with well over 6,300 episodes of Jeopardy! under his belt since his debut as series' host in 1984. As a result of his work on Jeopardy! and the series' great success, Trebek has won five Daytime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Game Show Host." He is a genuine audience favourite. Trebek particularly enjoys the series' road trips.
"It's always exciting to go into a new city with Jeopardy! in front of a cheering crowd," he remarks. "It gives people the opportunity to see how fun, exciting and entertaining this game really is, and it's fun for us to be in front of enthusiastic fans."
Trebek is a true public spokesman and is active with a number of educational organizations and charities. With the World Vision charitable organization, he has traveled to many Third World countries taping reports on the group's efforts on behalf of children around the world.
In conjunction with the USO, Trebek visits military bases around the world to audition prospective participants. Since 1987, Trebek has done more than ten USO tours. His efforts have been recognized with the group's Bob Hope Entertainment Award in 1998. A favorite role of his is host of the annual National Geographic Bee.
Trebek has appeared in over 70 movies and television shows, most often appearing as himself, and he has been honored with a coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The recipient of many special honors; awarded one of six Access Awards from The American Federation for the Blind for his role in accommodating notable Jeopardy! champion Eddie Timanus in 2001, he was recently inducted into the California Broadcasting Association's Hall of Fame, received the Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Gold Medal for his contribution to geographic education and the popular study of geography on November 4, 2010.