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He helped thousands of immigrants learn English. Who is Alex Trebek?
Posted by Jessica Gilmour on December 22, 2020 in categoryNews

Alex Trebek, the beloved host of CBS’s longtime game show “Jeopardy!” died November 8, 2020, of pancreatic cancer at age 80. During his 36 years as the popular gameshow host, Trebek impacted many lives, including those of immigrants. Trebek, an immigrant himself, was born in Canada and grew up in a bilingual household speaking French and English.  


Immigrants from all over the world have expressed gratitude to Trebek for helping them learn English. By sitting each night and watching the quiz show, thousands learned new words, pronunciation, and nuance of the English language. Trebek also sat on the board of the National Advisory Council for Literary Volunteers of America. 


RecentlyJeopardy! winner Burt Thakur expressed his tearful thanks to Trebek by sharing his own impact story. “I learned English because of you,” Thakur said. “My grandfather who raised me … I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day. So, it’s a pretty special moment for me, man. Thank you very much. 


Twitter user, Nora Ali (@NoraAli) wrote, “I think it’s important to emphasize the impact that Alex Trebek had on immigrant families. I, too, watched Jeopardy! with my grandparents, who didn’t speak English. Alex gave them something to look forward to every day in an otherwise unfamiliar world.”  


Trebek’s final episode will air on December 25, 2020, on CBS. ProLiteracy is grateful to Trebek for his admirable contributions to the adult literacy and education field and his work to inspire so many to have a passion for learning. 


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