Brayden Andrew Smith

September 6, 1996February 5, 2021

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. Donantions in Brayden’s memory may be made to


12 March

Graveside Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Palm Eastern Cemetery

7600 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89123


Brayden Andrew Smith

have a memory or condolence to add?

Scott McAtee

March 3, 2021

I am Scott MCATEE of Oxnard California USA and you don’t know me but I know you because I am still a fan of Alex trebek and your son brayden !. I am deeply saddened by the death of Alex and your son brayden !. He was a wonderful man with a genius book of talent. I will deeply miss your son and his wit of memory.
I also miss Alex of the game show because he had class and one of a
Kind man with a smile that lit up a room and your son and Alex was all of it!. I am deeply saddened by your life loss.
If you, need to get in touch with me please text me back or FaceTime call me or send me a letter or card at
1887 Cesar Chavez drive Oxnard California USA 93030-5439.

velma smith

February 23, 2021

so very sorry for your loss. losing alex was hard now its hard cause now we lost the champ of jeopardy. i only knew brayden from watching the show. he was great had a smile that lit up the room. he will never be forgotten . they do watch over us i get signs of my dad watching over me. it feels like some one is poking me in my shoulder but no one is in the room with me that is how i know hes watching over me. they let us know they are with us even if we cant see them. i was sad when i saw this and thought it cant be true was shocked to find out it was. rip brayden fly high with them wings . you are dearly missed .

Ann Jesick

February 19, 2021

Such a wonderful, personable and hugely intelligent young man. It's difficult to tell you how many tears we shed at such sad news. Like losing a child from one's own family. It's not supposed to happen. God bless you all and give you strength to live through this tragedy.
Sincerely, Ann & Randy Jesick

Maria S

February 18, 2021

I may have not known this bright young man, but he brought my mother and I so much joy during the holiday season that wasn’t that great for us. Brayden always brought a smile to our face when we saw him living out his dream. Everytime it turned 7:30, I would just scream “Mom we gotta watch Brayden!!!” May he rest in paradise. All my love and strength to his family and friends 💙

Grace Ternberg

February 17, 2021

I didn't know this young man personally but my ❤️ goes to his family and friends rip Brayden.

Barbara Yonko

February 17, 2021

What a brilliant yet quirky young man! My prayers are with the family and the jeopardy family. Brayden lit up the stage with his intelligence!

Donald Leigh

February 17, 2021

I didn't know this young man personally but my ❤️ goes to his family and friends rip Brayden.

Yvonne Lucsky

February 16, 2021

When I heard the news about Brayden I was so struck that this brilliant young man passed away. I was impressed by his knowledge and clean cut image you could almost see the wheels turning in his brain.
My sympathies go out to his family and friends.
What a loss.

Ron Hill

February 16, 2021

RIP of jeopardy champion brayden 💔💘❤

Jacqueline Bester

February 16, 2021

I just wanted to send my condolences from Kitchener Ontario Canada. I love Jeopardy and watched him on the show. He was my favourite. Im sure his fans worldwide are sharing in your loss. He did achieve one of his dreams and perhaps is now sitting beside Alex Trebek He will be missed by many. To quote a famous individual: In the end, only three things matter;how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for Buddha... He looked like a kind, gentle person and Im sure did make an impact on whoever he met.