Alex Trebek has long been a consistent, calming presence in American television. He hosts Jeopardy! with charm, wit, and a wry sense of humor – but there’s more to him than just being the public face of one of the longest-running shows in TV history.

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Here are nine essential facts about one of America’s most famous hosts:

1. He’s Canadian

Yep, one of America’s iconic entertainment figures is from the Great White North. Trebek was born George Alexander Trebek in Sudbury, Ontario.

2. He once chased a burglar out of a hotel room

In 2011, an intruder snuck into Trebek’s hotel room in San Francisco. Trebek gave chase, which is pretty impressive considering he was 71 years old at the time. The burglar was arrested and Trebek ruptured his Achilles tendon in the chase.

3. He’s in the Guinness Book of World Records

His record is for Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter. He’s hosted more than 8,000 episodes of Jeopardy!.

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox

4. He’s been parodied everywhere

He’s been spoofed on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and has famously been played by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live.

5. He’s a philanthropist

He’s active with World Vision and Smile Train, and has received the Bob Hope Entertainment Award for his 13 USO tours visiting troops overseas.

6. He’s a fighter

In March 2019, Trebek announced he had pancreatic cancer. He is actively working to raise awareness and raise funds for cancer research.

7. He has a sense of humor

He has a framed check for $49,000. It’s a bounced check that he received as payment from a game show that failed.

8. His life could have been very different

Trebek thought about becoming a priest, but after a summer at a monastery, he realized a vow of silence wouldn’t work for him.

9. He’s been recognized for making his show more accessible

In 2001, Trebek was recognized by The American Federation for the Blind for his role in accommodating blind Jeopardy! champion Eddie Timanus.