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Katie Couric becomes first female host in 'Jeopardy!' history

The journalist will step in for a two-week hosting stint on March 8.
Credit: CBS/Jeopardy!

Renowned journalist and New York Times bestselling author Katie Couric will make history as the first female host in "Jeopardy!" history.

Couric will step in to host the game show for two weeks, beginning March 8.

To prepare for her hosting stint, Couric said she watched the show religiously and studied late-host Alex Trebek's ability to move through the program and the way he interacted with contestants.

She also reflected on the gameshow's journey and what being able to host the program meant to her. 

"I love the show, I love Alex Trebek and I was so inspired by him, especially by his courage toward the end of his life," Couric said. "It's just such an American institution and the opportunity to play a small part in the continuation of the show was just something I didn't want to pass up."

The best advice Couric said she received was to have fun. But she knows the importance her history-making moment carries for representation.

"I've always believed that it's critically important 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," Couric explained.

She looks to inspire little girls to know that "it's cool to be smart" and hopefully encourage more women to apply for the show -- especially in a moment when Couric finds society is progressing from a time not-so-long-ago when girls would hold back to not seem pushy or smarter than the boys.

"We're championing and celebrating smart girls and women. It's just a crime not to tap that brainpower," Couric said. "Be a sponge, be a lifelong learner and be proud of your intelligence and your knowledge, it's such a gift."

She left women with a motto her mom always told her and her siblings while growing up: "Let 'em know you're there."

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