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Here Are the Details on the Cause of Death for Young 'Jeopardy!' Champion Brayden Smith

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 16, 2021
10:50 A.M.
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“Jeopardy!” champion Brayden Smith sadly passed away early this month. The star was one of the last contestants that appeared before the show’s late longtime host, Alex Trebek.

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On February 5, 2021, Brayden Smith was declared dead at the young age of 24. The Las Vegas resident was one of the last “Jeopardy!” contestants who were hosted by the late presenter Alex Trebek.

The 5-time “Jeopardy!” champion won almost $116,000 during his five-day winning streak. His obituary said Smith was looking forward to competing in the show’s Tournament of Champions.

Alex Trebek rehearses his lines on the set of the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show taping on April 17, 2010, in Culver City, California | Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Alex Trebek rehearses his lines on the set of the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show taping on April 17, 2010, in Culver City, California | Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

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The fan-favorite game show released a statement noting how they were heartbroken by the loss of Smith. The series described him as funny, kind, brilliant, and noted how he would be missed, adding:

“Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family.”

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According to the former contestant’s family members, Smith passed on after having complications after surgery. Before his death, he’d spent several days at a Southern Nevada hospital.

The young man’s parents have sent their gratitude for those who sent their thoughts. Last week, his mother, Debbie Smith, took to Twitter to announce the sad news of her son’s death.

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A memorial fund has been started in the former champion’s name and will be dedicated to Southern Nevada students' educational aspirations. In 2020, Smith graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He graduated with a degree in economics. Last year he also worked as an intern with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where he researched criminal justice reform issues.

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He was planning on attending law school and wanted to become a lawyer for the government. According to his obituary, the former game show contestant was an advocate for justice, and he loved knowledge.

Trebek’s family has since donated a generous part of his wardrobe to charity as a way to honor his legacy.

Smith has now joined Trebek, who passed away in November 2020 at the age of 80. The longtime host helmed the show with more than 8,200 episodes over 38 seasons, including the one with Smith.

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His family has since donated a generous part of his wardrobe to charity as a way to honor his legacy. The Trebek family gave The Doe Fund clothes after the host’s son, Matthew Trebek, suggested it.

The fund gives housing, paid work, vocational training, and continues education and social services for needy Americans. These are people who have homelessness, addiction, and incarceration as part of their history.

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