'Jeopardy' Commemorates the 2018 Teachers Tournament Winner, Larry Martin


Mar. 8 2021, Updated 10:40 a.m. ET

Jeopardy!'s Nov. 5 episode is going to be a real tear-jerker, folks — according to the game show's official Instagram page, the episode will be opening with a tribute to last year's Teachers Champion, Larry Martin, 

But if you aren't familiar with the former Teachers Tournament champion you may be wondering, 'who was Larry Martin on Jeopardy? So if that's the case, here's everything you need to know about the beloved educator.

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Larry Martin was Jeopardy's 2018 Teachers Tournament Champion. 

If you aren't familiar with the title, the Teachers Tournament is Jeopardy's way of showing its appreciation for educators nationwide. It's a two-week-long event, according to a press release, that features 15 educators competing for the $100,000 grand prize, as well as a spot in the next Tournament of Champions.

And in 2018, Larry Martin won the winning title in May 2018. He had been a second grade teacher for 30 years.

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Sadly, Larry passed in early 2019.

At the age of 61 on Jan. 25, 2019, Larry passed away from pancreatic cancer, the same type of cancer Jeopardy host Alex Trebek suffers from, according to the educator's obituary.

He hailed from Kansas City, Missouri, and left behind his wife, Rebecca, his daughter, Cricket, and his Border Collie, Jenny. 

It comes as no surprise that Jeopardy was his forté — Larry graduated from North Kansas City High School before attending University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he achieved two Bachelor's degrees, as well as a Master's. 

While teaching second grade at Belinder Elementary School he created The Marvel News, a bi-weekly paper that was sold by his students. His obituary describes him someone who exuded "gentle kindness, sharp intellect, good humor, creativity, patience and gracious perseverance."

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