Katie Couric Makes History as First Woman to Host 'Jeopardy!'

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Answer: Katie Couric. Question: Who is making history this month, becoming the first woman to ever host Jeopardy!?

This week, Couric began a two-week stint hosting the TV quiz show that was famously presided over by the legendary Alex Trebek, who died in November after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

"For little girls everywhere, it’s cool to be smart."

“I’ve always believed it’s critically important," noted Couric in a statement about getting to host, "to have representation in media — to have women, to have people of color, to have all kinds of people that make up this wonderful country we live in — because I want people at home to see people like them in these important powerful authoritative roles. So to be the first woman on a show that stands for excellence and intelligence and integrity is a real honor for me."

She went on to say: "For little girls everywhere, it’s cool to be smart. Girls would get to a certain age and they would sort of hold back because they didn’t want to be seen as too aggressive or pushy or smarter than the boys, but I think society has really changed, and we’re championing and celebrating smart girls and women.”

Replacing the Irreplaceable

Couric is the third guest host of the show since Trebek's death, following in the footsteps of former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings and the show's Executive Producer Mike Richards. Other guests that are on deck to host include Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker, actress Mayim Bialik, Dr. Mehmet Oz, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie, and CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as per a CBS News affiliate.

Earlier this week, on International Women's Day, Couric playfully shared an Instagram post ahead of her Jeopardy! premier that teased her appearance on the show.

"In 2021, this groundbreaking journalist and co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer became the first woman to guest host Jeopardy! Who is Katie Couric," it read. Couric captioned the post: "This happened. 😊 A privilege to honor the extraordinary Alex Trebek."

At the top of her first episode, Couric told viewers: “It is such a thrill to be here guest hosting a show I’ve watched and loved for years — and of course a real honor to help out as all of us recover from the loss of the truly irreplaceable Alex Trebek."

In tandem with her hosting duties, Couric also told viewers that Jeopardy! would be matching all of the winnings made by competitors during the weeks she's hosting and that the show will be donating the amount to Stand Up to Cancer’s pancreatic-cancer research team. Couric notably co-founded Stand Up to Cancer in 2008 and lost both her husband and sister to the disease.

Tags: Groundbreaking Women, Pop Culture

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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