He was born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, his father, a Ukrainian immigrant who married a French-Canadian girl. Trebek graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in Philosophy, then got his start in broadcasting working for the CBC as a newscaster. In 1966 he got his own game show, entitled Reach for the Top.
In 1973 he moved to the United States and worked for NBC as host of a new gameshow, The Wizard of Odds. In 1984 he was chosen to host the revived version of the trivia gameshow Jeopardy!, and has been its nightly host ever since.
He has won two Emmy Awards for best television host and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Alex Trebek donates a great deal of his free time to touring overseas with the USO, and serving as a spokesman for World Vision.
He owns Creston Farms, a 700-acre ranch near Paso Robles in central California where he breeds thoroughbred race horses.