Today marks what would’ve been longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s 81st birthday. Several fans have taken to social media to honor the late host.
Trebek’s close friends and family are celebrating the occasion as well. Earlier on Instagram, Trebek’s daughter Nicky posted a picture of him with a massive musk ox up in Alaska. The late “Jeopardy!” host seems to be feeding the musk ox directly from his hand.
“#happybirthdaydad#july22#muskoxlove#spiritanimal#alaska #missyou,” Nicky captioned the post.
Nicky called the musk ox his “spirit animal” because it was, in fact, one of Alex Trebek’s favorite animals. According to Anchorage Press, before he died, the “Jeopardy!” host regularly traveled to The Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Alaska. He wanted to interact with the massive animals, and over time he grew to know the staff on the farm. Executive Director Mark Austin said that the “Jeopardy!” host “just really fell in love with the place.”
Eventually, he founded the Trebek Family Foundation in 2013 to provide donations to The Musk Ox Farm. It became one of the most generous donors in the farm’s history.
“Adoption has been our most common form of donations… He really just raised a lot of awareness for us… It really was special. He was a very generous guy,” Austin said. “I think it really was sweet, his connection to animals.”
The World Mourns For ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek On Would-Be 81st Birthday
The Musk Ox Farm was devastated to hear about the “Jeopardy!” host’s passing. Back in 2019, when he first revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, the farm sent Trebek a letter to show their support. Trebek eventually died from the cancer on November 8, 2020.
“I think he certainly beat the odds,” Austin said. “He was strong… [he] kept doing what he loved to do best. He just showed incredible strength and resistance, like a musk ox.”
The farm remembers him as someone who was really easy to get along with and just really loved the animals.
“He’s a super down-to-earth guy. There’s nothing about him that demanded special treatment,” Austin said.
The game show also remembered and honored Trebek’s birthday by posting a video to their social media sites. Current “Jeopardy!” host Robin Roberts gave a short speech dedicated to the previous host and his spirit of philanthropy.
“Today is a special day. It is July 22nd and would have been Alex Trebek’s 81st birthday,” Roberts said. “He was a kind, intelligent and philanthropic man — which is why I am incredibly proud to say that we have raised nearly $100,000 for Be The Match. A wonderful charity that is dedicated to helping every patient get the life-saving transplant they need. Alex loved this game, so let us celebrate him and his legacy by playing the game that he loved.”