Alex Trebek’s net worth was estimated at $75 million.
As was recently reported by The Inquisitr, the famed Jeopardy! host passed away at the age of 80. A spokesperson for the popular game show announced his death on Sunday morning, stating that he passed away surrounded by his friends and family after a public and nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
His passing has renewed focus on his storied career in the entertainment business — and the money he made along the way as the beloved host of a number of shows.
Alex Trebek Began His Career In the News Industry
According to Celebrity Net Worth, the bulk of Trebek’s fortune came from hosting the program Jeopardy!, a position he held for over 35 years. However, his original career path was actually anchored in the news.
After graduating from the University of Ottawa in 1961 with a degree in philosophy, he started working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). His original job was as a replacement for announcers, but he soon progressed to reading the national news and “covering a wide range of special events for both the television and radio divisions of the CBC.”
Alex Trebek Soon Turned His Focus To Hosting Game Shows, Netting Him Millions
Trebek won his first job as a host for the Canadian music program Music Hop in 1963. He quickly moved onto other similar programs such as Reach for the Top, The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers, and Double Dare.
While these jobs offered a steady paycheck, his big break came with Jeopardy! in 1984. As the gameshow grew in popularity, Trebek’s annual salary skyrocketed to a mammoth $18 million each year. The show only tapes 46 days out of the year, meaning that Trebek earned $391,000 whenever he spent a day on set. The amount that he received per episode was slightly less at $78,000, as five episodes are filmed each day.
In comparison, popular Wheel of Fortune stars Vanna White and Pat Sajak earn $208,333 and $312,500 per workday, respectively.
Alex Trebek Donated Millions Throughout His Life As A Generous Philanthropist
Trebek also had a strong commitment to philanthropy, and he made charitable donations throughout his life to help others in need. For example, he and his wife donated $500,000 to Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, a local homeless outreach organization, this past June as the novel coronavirus pandemic worsened California’s already dire housing crisis.
“Alex and Jean Trebek contributed $500,000 to the charity because they believe in helping locally as well as globally,” the couple said in a statement.
“They have lived in the Valley for over 30 years, and want to help support their community.”
“They also believe that homeless people are just ordinary people who have had bad circumstances happen to them, and deserve a helping hand, not judgment,” the statement concluded, per Good Morning America.
The donation came after the Trebeks had already previously given the organization $100,000.
The Canadian-American icon has also given a number of contributions to other causes, such as the arts and education systems. He has been particularly supportive of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. In fact, CNN reported that he has given the school an estimated $10 million in total.