BRAYDEN SMITH
1996 - 2021
BORN
1996
DIED
2021
BRAYDEN ANDREW SMITH Brayden Andrew Smith passed away Friday morning, February 5, in Las Vegas, Nev. He was 24. Brayden attained a lifelong dream as a five-time champion on the popular Jeopardy! television game show. His appearances were among the last hosted by Alex Trebek, and Brayden was hailed on social media as "Alex's Last Great Champion." He was looking forward to competing in the show's Tournament of Champions. A 2020 graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics, Brayden intended to attend law school and become an attorney for the federal government. He was a voracious reader and autodidact, a lover of knowledge and an advocate for justice. His room was bursting with books on political science, philosophy, economics, and history. He recently served as an intern with the prestigious Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where he researched criminal justice reform issues. At Liberty High School in Henderson, Nev., Brayden was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, was active in the Junior Classical League and captained his school's Quiz Bowl team to back-to-back state runner-up finishes. He made the game's all-star team both years, and in his senior campaign was named the Harvey Dondero outstanding player, earning a college scholarship. Brayden loved classic and not-so-classic movies. He could be explaining the symbolism in Citizen Kane one moment and the comedic timing in Dumb and Dumber the next. He played the saxophone and enjoyed listening to a variety of music, from Duke Ellington, Chet Baker and Miles Davis to the Beach Boys, Steely Dan, and Toto. He was an avid sports fan, cheering on the Detroit Tigers and Vegas Golden Knights. The second of four sons, Brayden was born in Henderson, Nev. on September 6, 1996, to Scott and Deborah (Rudy) Smith. They survive, along with his brothers Bryce, 26, of Reno, Nev., Brock, 18, and Brody, 15, both of Las Vegas. Other survivors include maternal grandparents, Larry and Anne (Gable) Rudy of Plainfield, Ind.; paternal grandmother, Wanda (Pavey) Smith of Crawfordsville, Ind.; uncle, David (Cathy) Rudy of Greenwood, Ind.; aunt, Dianne (Jeff) Kessler of Algonquin, Ill.; and cousins, Taylor Rudy, Samuel and Benjamin Kessler, Amy Gigante, and Chrystel Lott. Arrangements are pending. Donations in Brayden's memory may be made to https://charitysmith.org/memorial funds/brayden-smith-memorial-fund/

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Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Feb. 12, 2021.
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100 Entries
Scott & Deborah and brothers three. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Brayden. I felt I got to know him a little bit while watching Jeopardy. I looked forward to watching each show he appeared on. While watching him from afar, he seemed witty, obviously smart, and clever. He was very complex at such a young age. I loved how he cocked his head to the side and squinted at the questions on his many daily doubles. What a champ. The world is a little sadder without him. I will keep him in my thoughts as your family traverses this horrible loss. God Bless Brayden John Vogt
John Vogt
March 4, 2021
Susan Bright Spangler
February 28, 2021
My daughter and I watch a lot of Jeopardy and Brayden was definitely one of our favorites. I am sorry for his passing. May he rest in peace and sending his parents, brothers and family lots of prayers.
Alina
February 26, 2021
Our Condolences to Brayden's Family on the passing of such a fine young man ! Our thought and prayers are with you all..
rosanna Scott
February 23, 2021
My husband and I send our deepest condolences. While we didn't have the pleasure of knowing Brayden, we loved watching him on Jeopardy and were cheering him on the whole way! He was one of our favorite contestants of all time and I just knew he was going to go places in life. A young life cut way too short. I hope you take comfort in knowing how much he was loved by the world.
Dana
February 22, 2021
What a sweet, sweet boy. I loved watching him on Jeopardy! I am so very sorry for your loss.
Bev
February 21, 2021
My family is so sorry for your loss. We enjoyed watching Bryden Jeopardy. We offer prayers for comfort and peace in the days ahead.
Elaine
February 21, 2021
Our family is so sorry to hear of your loss. We offer you heartfelt condolences. We enjoyed watching Brayden on Jeopardy and rooted for him every night. Prayers!
Alicia
February 19, 2021
There are no words to share that can fully express how heartbroken we were to hear the news of Brayden´s sudden passing. I watched him on Jeopardy not realizing it was him. Very brilliant young man. May the hole in your heart be filled little by little as each day passes with the love and memories shared by your family and friends. Sending you all up in prayerLove the Bice Family
Lee,Lori Bice and Family
February 19, 2021
So sorry to hear of Brayden's passing. He was such a bright young man and enjoyed watching him on Jeopardy. Please accept my condolences.
Janet Whitmore
February 18, 2021
A brilliant mind gone too soon. Brayden was a joy to watch as we cheered for him each evening. Our prayers go out to his family as you try to deal with your loss.
Louise & Terry Mackenzie, Nova Scotia Canada
February 18, 2021
We are immensely sorry for your loss. We didn't know Brayden, but watched him faithfully on Jeopardy. I loved the way he cocked his head and slightly squinted when reading and listening to a clue.
Diane and Steve Crosby
February 17, 2021
I enjoyed watching him on jeopardy. He was very smart!
Debbie
February 17, 2021
Great champion. Handsome, nice young man.
Sheila Silvius
February 17, 2021
Jeopardy watchers from Tarrytown NY who fell in love with Brayden, said that he was a special, brilliant but modest young man who had a great future ahead of him. We are heartbroken for you and cannot begin to express how much we can imagine your pain at this sudden loss. Brayden will live on in all of our hearts. Like a star, he will shine in the heavens forever. May his memory be a blessing.
Susie and Ed Brubaker
February 17, 2021
To say shocked is an understatement. We LOVED watching Brayden on Jeopardy and cheered him on every night. He is a true champion in every way. It showed through he demeanor and smile. What a tragedy. Our sympathy's go out to you. Perhaps he and Alec are enjoying conversations in heaven. May God bless you all.
Sharon and Gary Maryman
February 17, 2021
Brayden was a joy to watch on Jeopardy! I instantly loved him and his smile. It was like rooting for my own kid. I am so very sorry for your loss.
Christie Grant
February 17, 2021
Sorry for the loss of Braden, I enjoyed his recent hosting of Jeopardy .
Rita
February 17, 2021
Brayden was such a joy to watch on Jeopardy. I'm so glad he became Alex's last champion. He was so sweet, adorable, and brilliant for someone so young. All Jeopardy fans share sorrow for the loss of remarkable Brayden. Condolences to his family and friends.
Diane Brodis
February 16, 2021
He was a inspiration to me. I have had a hard time, understanding what l read. His answers on Jeapordy we're smooth. He will be missed.
Steven Lee Thompson
February 16, 2021
Your entire family is in our prayers. We enjoyed watching Brayden on Jeopardy. He was a remarkable young man who brought joy to many watching him.
Indiana mom
February 16, 2021
My husband and I are big fans of Jeapardy and enjoyed seeing Brayden accomplish his dream, we were cheering him on was one of our favorites!! Sending prayers to the family!!
Terry Schmitt
February 16, 2021
Smith Family, I am so sorry for your loss of your son. I loved watching him on Jeopardy. Your family are in my prayers. Vicki Talton
Vicki Talton
February 16, 2021
I´m very sorry your loss. It was a privilege to watch Brayden on Jeopardy. He was such a brilliant young man. Fly high Brayden.
Mandy Partika
February 16, 2021
So sorry for the loss of this young man... He was so bright and a pleasure to watch. I pray that God will comfort you in your time of need.
KC WERICK
February 16, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. I loved watching him on Jeopardy, and cheered for him every episode. What a lovely, funny, and brilliant person!
Jane Patterson
February 16, 2021
So sorry for your loss. He was such a joy to watch on jeopardy and I was so saddened to hear the news. Deepest sympathies
Anne Marie
February 16, 2021
My husband and I enjoyed seeing Brayden play Jeopardy! May he always live on in your hearts! Prayers and hugs to the family and friends.
Sorahana Miller
February 16, 2021
Sending prayers and hugs to the family. My son died at the age of 24 a few days before Thanksgiving. This isn't the road any parent wants to travel. The family needs to do what they need to keep going. Be kind to yourselves and each other.
Sherry
February 16, 2021
I am a great fan of Jeopardy.. I watched the show every night when Brayden was on..he had a brilliant mind and a great sense of humor.. I was very saddened to hear of his passing like so many others.. He is in GOD'S Heaven .I'm sure he Alex are playing lots of Jeopardy.. Two Champions . My prayers go out to Brayden's Family .He was taken from this World way too soon.. May he rest in Eternal Peace.
DAN RIVERS
February 16, 2021
It was a joy to watch Brayden on Jeopardy. He was funny and brilliant! He is gone too soon.My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Madelyn Gonzalez
February 16, 2021
I am so shocked and sad to hear of this young man´s sudden death. He was just a wealth of information and it was a joy to have watched him. He seemed to be so excited to play in the Tournament of Champions, not to be. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
Susan (Montreal, Quebec)
February 16, 2021
I was a fan who loved the show and loved Brayden and how he was on the show and looked up to him! and I was so saddened to hear of his unexpected and premature passing and he will be missed by so many!
Caleb D Featheroff
February 15, 2021
I think a tree should be planted in Brayden's memory.
Lorraine
February 15, 2021
I enjoyed watching Brayden on Jeopardy. So sorry for your loss!
Dianne Petrino
February 15, 2021
I'm a viewer, who was thrilled to watch Brayden on jeopardy. I'm also shocked to read of his death. So young.
Lorraine Cyr
Friend
February 15, 2021
I enjoyed watching Braydon on Jeopardy. He was amazing in his wealth of knowledge and Alex was quite taken with him. I´m so sorry for your loss and hope the happy memories you have of him will help keep his memory alive.
Barbara Gilland
February 15, 2021
Prayers to his family
Karen Norman Bourque
February 15, 2021
I offer my sincere condolences to Brayden family RIP
Sharon Migliore
February 15, 2021
May Brayden's memory be a blessing to all.
Steve Gershman
February 15, 2021
Words cannot express the joy your son, brother and grandchild brought into our homes every evening on Jeopardy. Such a sweet, brilliant young man. May His Memory Be Eternal. Sending prayers of healing over the loss of such a nice guy! My heart breaks for you. Xoxo
Candace Zavakos
February 15, 2021
So sad to hear about Brayden . Our deepest condolences . We enjoyed watching him on jeopardy.Thought and prayers with you all. God Bless
Steve and Arelena Smith
February 15, 2021
My thoughts and prayers are with the family! May God´s give you all the peace and strength during this difficult time! Rip Brayden Smith
Savitri Patram
February 15, 2021
My son and I are faithful Jeopardy viewers, and we instantly took a shine to Brayden, rooting him on show after show. His endearing, charming demeanor, coupled with his superior intellect, made him an absolute joy to watch. Without meaning to intrude on your privacy at this time, please accept our sincere, heartfelt condolences.
Cheryl
February 15, 2021
My heartfelt condolences on the untimely loss of your sweet boy. Having just gone through something similar with my 28 year old daughter just six months ago, I do feel your heartache. My heart aches for you. Time will help but I don´t think it will ever take away the ache, at least not for me.
Colleen
February 15, 2021
Scott and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers are with you all during this time.
Wende Stuckey Standefer
Friend
February 15, 2021
So sad to hear of Brayden´s passing. Sweet young man, he was one of the classiest Jeopardy contestants.If there´s a heaven, he´s with Alex. Deepest condolences to your family
Libby Evans
February 15, 2021
We are so saddened to hear of Braydon's untimely death after surgery. May it be of some comfort to those who love him that he touched the heart of so many as Champion of Jeopardy in the last days of Alex Trebek's appearances. The joy that Alex and Braydon shared each night was palpable.... each really appreciated each others wit and knowledge. They were both where they belonged; our lives are blessed to have known them, if only for too short a time.
Joyce and Joe Kennedy
February 15, 2021
I am so, so very sorry for you all. May you, as loving parents & brothers, find the strength to heal and recover in your own time; peace to all of you in the coming days.
Anna C
February 15, 2021
So young. Condolences to the family.
Bob Dwyer of Wallingford, CT
February 15, 2021
While I didn´t personally know Brayden, it was pure joy that he exuded on Jeopardy! I´m truly and deeply sorry for your loss. I can only pray that the unimaginable pain that y´all are going thru will somehow ease with God´s help. He surely would have made the world a much better place. CyberHugs to you & yours always!
Pamela Leppala
February 15, 2021
My husband and I are faithful, daily watchers of Jeopardy. We enjoyed Brayden´s appearances on the show very much. He was a rare combination of brilliance, good humor and humility. Just as he felt Alex was a tonic for all of us during the pandemic, so was Brayden. Our hearts go out to his family. His memory shall be a blessing to all who were privileged to watch his success unfold on Jeopardy.
Elizabeth Outlaw
February 15, 2021
We are so sad. We remember watching Brayden and marvelling at how much knowledge he had for his young age. May God give you all peace and strength on the huge loss in your family. - Susan and Bob Vancouver Canada.
Susan & Bob
February 15, 2021
My heart goes out to the parents and family of Brayden Smith. I watched him every day on Jeopardy. This young man was absolutely brilliant and accomplished so much in his young life. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Sandy Schlemmer
February 15, 2021
I am so sorry to hear this...I enjoyed him so much on Jeopardy...He seemed so nice and laid back...Someone you could really root for...My deepest condolences to his friends and family.
Patricia Sentz
February 15, 2021
Our deepest condolences to the whole family of Brayden Smith May it comfort you, at this very difficult time, reading how many strangers admired and loved watching Brayden on Jeopardy. He radiated kindness and modesty that really touched us. With every game he played we cheered for him. A true Champion. Tonny and Ralph Toronto, Canada
Tonny and Ralph
February 15, 2021
May you all find peace in the loss of your beloved family member.
David B
February 15, 2021
I am so heartbroken to learn of Braydon's death. There are few words of comfort to offer here. He seemed a quiet, unassuming, scholarly anchor to which Mr. Trebek moored his own hope on. To have helped another man (or woman) in their hour of need is to be a righteous man. Braydon was and shall always be. May your memories sustain you while you grieve.
H.A.F.
February 15, 2021
OMG I'm in such shock, He was very cool when he was on Jeopardy, I really liked him so much, Now he's up there with Alex Trebek, And also that he was one of the last Champions with Alex as well!!!! I'm so sorry for the loss, May he Rest In Peace!!!!! A great Jeopardy Champion that will be missed forever!!!!! My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends!!!!
Mike Abe
February 14, 2021
Our deepest condolences. My Mom and I watched him on Jeopardy. Such a beautiful baby face and so fun to watch. He made the game his own and was classy, smart and humble. No wonder Alex liked him.
Kimberly
February 14, 2021
The Jeopardy community is heartsick to learn of Brayden's untimely passing. We loved seeing his sweet smile, modesty, courtesy and and brilliant intellect. We cheered for his wins and looked forward to seeing him in the Tournament of Champions. Please know he was one of "ours" too, and will be deeply missed. May God keep you in the palm of His hand as you heal from your loss.
One of the Jeopardy faithful
February 14, 2021
My condolences to Brayden's family. How heartbreaking to loose your son so unexpectedly. Brayden...you will always be a winner in our tournament of champions. judy(nh)
Judy MacNeil
February 14, 2021
So sorry for your loss. He was an amazing person. I hope he and Alex are playing Jeopardy together. My nephew who passed played Saxophone and liked Duke Ellington too. I´d like to think of them jammin together. Peace be with you.
Cindy Meyers
February 14, 2021
Obviously I didn´t know Brayden but I absolutely loved watching him on Jeopardy. I was and am still in awe of his young age and vast knowledge. My sympathy to his family and friends in this time of great sorrow.
Lisa Hays
February 14, 2021
Intelligent young man with a limitless future. Sorry for your loss.
Anthony Matos
February 14, 2021
It is hard to describe how this young man's death makes us feel like the world has been robbed of a brilliant mind. I send my deepest condolences to his family.
Ray
February 14, 2021
RIP Young Man !!! My Thoughts & Prayers are with All of Brayden´s Family !!! Peace Be Still !!! Alex´s last Champion
Joanne Lowell
February 14, 2021
This young man was so compelling to watch on TV. He was smart, funny, and so interesting for someone so young. It was apparent that Alex really enjoyed him as much as the viewers. As his family, you must be so proud of what he accomplished, as well as his plans for his future. My sincere condolences on the loss of this special young man!
Susan Evans
February 14, 2021
I watched all the shows Brayden was on and he struck me as a very respectable man and I had all hopes of him fulfilling his dreams. So sorry for your families loss. Prayers for ALL.
Mama Judy
February 14, 2021
This young man was a JOY to watch in Jeopardy! What a unique, smart, sweet young man! I´m really sorry for your loss.
Phyllis Mazza
February 14, 2021
Our sincerest condolences to the family. We watched him on jeopardy he was smart, caring, fun to watch, brilliant, prayers for comfort. He will be so missed, love, hugs
PENNY L DOTY
February 14, 2021
RIP Brayden. Peace and Love to the whole family. I am so sorry for.your loss.
Donna Pratt
February 14, 2021
Such a loss. I´m so sorry, he was one beautiful person
Naomi storm-weyant
February 14, 2021
So shocked and sorry to hear this. Our sympathy to all of the family. Really enjoyed watching him on the show.
gregory manzione
February 14, 2021
This man seemed like a great young man, and a champion. I am sorry for your loss.
Brian Bensimon
February 14, 2021
I am so saddened to hear of the unexpected sudden loss of such a brilliant, gifted young man. His warmth, wit, charm and good nature captured my heart the first evening and each night thereafter as I watched him compete on Jeopardy. My deepest sincere deepest condolences to his dear family, you do not grieve alone. Hugs and prayers, he was a very special person that touched many people who enjoyed watching him while on Jeopardy.
Susan
February 14, 2021
So saddened to read this news. Braydon was an incredible contestant on Jeopardy. Our condolences to all of his friends and family.
Bobbie Mazza
February 14, 2021
This young man was an inspiration to me and many others....and such fun to watch as he won his five games with Alex Trebeck....his passing brought tears to my eyes. My prayers and thoughts are with his family.
Mary Graves, Ohio
February 14, 2021
I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Brayden's unexpected death. He was our all-time favourite player and we couldn't wait to watch him compete on Jeopardy. May he rest in peace - he will be missed.
Kathy (Edmonton, AB, Canada)
February 14, 2021
I am so sorry to hear of Brayden´s passing ,we watched him on Jeopardy and immediately feel in love with him our sincerest condolences from
Susan Payne
February 14, 2021
I just read the sad news of Brayden's death. Of course we didn't know him, but we so enjoyed his time on Jeopardy! He was a brilliant and charming young man. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Brayden.
Marianne from Canada
February 14, 2021
We are so sorry for your loss. we enjoyed watching him on Jeopardy. Brayden had a smile that put a smile on my face. we loved his intelligence .... God Bless you all. R.I.P. Brayden. we will miss you on Tournament of Champions, You truly deserved to be there. Such a brilliant mind. God Speed Brayden.
Brenda Young
February 14, 2021
so so sorry to hear of this. he was so nice. so good. and alex loved him as he was just so impressed with him... will miss him with the champions. forever in my heart. along with millions of others. that watched and enjoyed his journey
carol
February 14, 2021
So sorry to hear Brayden has passed. My wife and I really enjoyed watching him on the show, and were looking forward to seeing him on the Tournament of Champions.
Michael Clark
February 14, 2021
Hope you and Alex are playing Jeopardy up in heaven
Tracey Holland
February 14, 2021
Sending love and condolences to Brayden´s entire family and friends and hope that all their fond memories soften their sorrow. Let´s think that he and Alex are still doing The Jeopardy game on a new level now.
Shirley
February 14, 2021
So enjoyed his wit and wisdom on Jeopardy. Was looking forward to tournament of champions. Heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.
Polly
February 14, 2021
I was so shocked & saddened to learn of Brayden's passing. He was absolutely brilliant & had such a warm likable smile. I looked forward as I realized we have another Ken, & James club here with his tremendous knowledge on every subject. May your family find consolation in knowing that the thousands upon thousands of Jeopardy fans got not only to enjoy his keen intellect with a touch of humor, but his just being a kind & decent human, the most important attribute about Braydon.....
Sharon
February 14, 2021
I loved watching Brayden on Jeopardy. Was hoping he would win until Alex´s last show. I know Alex loved him being known as his last champion. My heart goes out to Brayden´s family. Hugs and prayers to all.
Doris Conklin
February 14, 2021
I am truly sorry to hear of the devastating loss of such a gifted, brilliant young man. I enjoyed watching in amazement as he competed in Jeopardy. He impacted a lot of people in his short time on this earth.God bless him and his family.
Linda Melchor
February 14, 2021
We are so sorry for your family's loss. Braydon was an immensely talented individual. His time on Jeopardy gave us just a hint of his potential. Given more time he could have impacted the world in a very positive way, of this we are certain. He will be missed by all.
Joel and Beth, Seattle, WA
February 14, 2021
I´m truly sorry for your loss. The small glimpse we got of him on Jeopardy shows he was an amazing being. Condolences to all who knew him.
Melinda
February 14, 2021
Sending deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved Brayden. Something in Brayden touched me, and he became one of my favorite Jeopardy contestants ever. His unique style of playing was fun to watch, but beyond that and his obvious intelligence, he seemed like a truly kind and thoughtful person. I was happy that he achieved his dream of competing on Jeopardy and made it into the Tournament of Champions; I was looking forward to seeing him compete again. As much as I enjoyed watching him and grieve his loss, I can only imagine what it must be like for you, his family. I hope you will find some comfort in knowing that he touched so many people. And although we cannot feel the depth of your pain, we mourn along with you and keep him in our hearts. My prayers go out to you, and I wish you comfort and peace as you deal with your great loss.
Andrea K
February 14, 2021
I am truly sad to learn of Brayden´s passing. I watched him on Jeopardy & thought he was so young to be so knowledgeable. He Always had a smile on the show. Please accept my deepest sympathies to your family.
Claire Massarelli
February 14, 2021
It was such a joy to watch your incredibly gifted loved one, Brayden. We are saddened to hear of his passing. We mourn with you today, along with the millions of our lives he inspired by sharing his talents. God Bless you.
Vanessa & Eddie San Diego, CA
February 13, 2021
I will miss you Brayden Smith 5 times Jeopardy Champions. I will watch your time on jeopardy.
Steven James Montgomery
February 13, 2021
To Brayden's family and friends: we are so very sorry for the loss of you son, grandson, brother, beloved one. We offer heartfelt sympathies. Jeopardy! show watchers Rest In Peace Brayden
Brandon Surette
February 13, 2021
To Brayden's family and friends: we are so very sorry for the loss of you son, grandson, brother, beloved one. We offer heartfelt sympathies. Jeopardy! show watchers Rest In Peace Brayden
Vickie Suggs
February 13, 2021
Reading these messages offers a bit of comfort, because it is nice to know how many people admired and cared for Brayden. He and I met through work in 2016, and became fast friends. When I heard of his passing, I was floored; we had just had a conversation about football a few days ago. Though it is unimaginably tragic that he was taken from us so soon, I will always cherish the memories of our time together, whether it was something grand like a Golden Knights game or a Norm Macdonald show, or even just a simple night of getting food and talking about our favorite books. My deepest condolences to his friends, family, and anyone else who is now missing a piece of their life.
Isaiah Hedberg
February 13, 2021
My sincerest condolences to Brayden's family. It was a joy to watch him on Jeopardy, as there was something very likeable about him. My heart breaks for his family and friends.
Linda Bruscato
February 13, 2021