Alex Trebek was the face of Jeopardy! for 36 years before he died of pancreatic cancer in 2020. After Trebek announced his illness, the outpouring of support from long-time fans inspired him to write a memoir. Today’s Instaread, The Answer Is, takes a look at the iconic man behind the questions and quips.
A Peek Inside His Private Life
Trebek was a dedicated family man, so the two-day-a-week taping schedule of Jeopardy! suited him well. At his wedding to his wife, Jean, when the minister asked, “Do you, Alex, take Jean to be your wife?” Trebek replied with his Jeopardy! catchphrase, “The answer is… yes.”
But behind the jokes, Trebek sometimes felt uneasy in the spotlight. He had moments when he regretted disclosing his illness. He constantly felt like he owed people something since he was in the public eye. Many people looked to him for reassurance, but he didn’t feel like he was as tough as people expected him to be. Sometimes Trebek would cry for no reason, and it embarrassed him. He used to think not crying meant you were tough, but he later discovered that it was the opposite. Crying meant that you were tough enough to be honest and vulnerable.