Like “Jeopardy!” fans and contestants everywhere, I was saddened by the news that Alex Trebek died this past Sunday. I wrote the following tribute for While You Were Working SmartBrief on Monday, Nov. 9:
Alex Trebek left a legacy of caring, humor and smarts
Why it matters: I spent a big chunk of this past weekend reading questions and keeping score for academic tournaments for middle and high school students (held online this year because of the pandemic). I got the gig through a fellow “Jeopardy!” champion, just one example of how being on the show eight years ago changed my life. Alex Trebek was at the center of the experience, holding court while helping us contestants feel comfortable and less nervous. Over the course of my three games, I found him to be very engaging and encouraging.
However, when I read his book this past summer, I fully realized what a genuinely caring person he was, as evidenced by his extensive USO tours and global humanitarian work with World Vision. Now that he’s died, it’s hard to imagine “Jeopardy!” without him. Still, I’m sure the show will continue to be a quality undertaking that reminds us of the importance of knowledge, truth and facts while having a lot of fun — and even helping people learn English — in the process. The kids in the tournaments I worked at will never get to be on “Jeopardy!” with Alex, but they’re already continuing his legacy in their own way. — Cathy (the WYWW “Jeopardy!” expert)