The TV icon had been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer since announcing the news back in March 2019. He immediately started chemo after the diagnosis but made no plans to retire and continued hosting his game show … as impressively as ever.
Trebek powered through for a full year — despite what he called “massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on” — because he said he realized giving up on life would be a betrayal to his wife, God and other cancer patients.
The shows executive producer, Mike Richards, says, “Working beside him for the past year and a half as he heroically continued to host “Jeopardy!” was an incredible honor. His belief in the importance of the show and his willingness to push himself to perform at the highest level was the most inspiring demonstration of courage I have ever seen.”
Alex — winner of 6 Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding game show host — set a Guinness World record in June 2014 for most episodes (6,829) of a game show hosted. Despite his unprecedented and hugely successful run, Alex never viewed himself as a celeb or the “star” of the show. He said as much to Harvey Levin for an episode on “Objectified.”
Trebek was born on July 22, 1940, in Ontario, Canada. He majored in philosophy at the University of Ottawa but he had serious ambitions about a career on TV. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1998, but not before running the Olympic Torch in 1996 as it made its way to Atlanta.
Alex — who was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2017 for his iconic achievements — married Elaine Kares in 1974 and they divorced in 1981. He married again in 1990 … this time to Jean Currivan, with whom he had 2 children … Matthew and Emily.
This content was originally published here.