Alex Trebek has made a lot of headlines over the past year. These headlines have nothing to do with the iconic game show, Jeopardy!, though.
Trebek was diagnosed with cancer, and he has been in the public eye ever since. In several interviews — and a new book — Trebek has stated how helpful and supportive his family has been during this difficult time. The star has three incredible children and a beautiful wife to lean on while he continues to fight this disease.
America’s favorite game show host
Trebek is the most well-known game show host in the country. The charming celeb has been the host of Jeopardy! since 1984. He hosted several other game shows and spent a short time in the journalism industry.
Trebek studied philosophy in college, but after graduating, decided to pursue a career in journalism. He spent a few years working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, then chose to switch fields again.
He was charismatic and well-spoken, and that was a great combination for a game show host. Not to mention, he had the potential to make a lot more money working as a host.
Trebek became such a pop culture icon that several famous actors have portrayed him in hilarious parodies. Saturday Night Live great, Will Ferrell, played Trebek numerous times in Celebrity Jeopardy! skits. The host says he was never offended by the jokes.
As a matter of fact, he was flattered. Trebek also loved Eugene Levy’s impersonations on Half Wits. He feels that Levy expertly captured what a game show host feels when everything keeps going wrong.
The beloved game show host has been battling pancreatic cancer for the past year and a half. Trebek announced in March that he had beaten the odds, as only 18 percent of patients survive the first year after a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
Trebek remains optimistic and says that he will be among the 7 percent that survives past the two-year mark. He attributes his survival to the love and support of his wife and family, who keep his spirits up and encourage him to keep fighting.
Meet the kids
In 1974, the game show host married Elaine Trebek Kares. Although the couple did not have any children together, he adopted Kares’ daughter, Nicky. The couple divorced in 1981.
In 1990, Trebek married again. He met Jean Currivan Trebek at a party, where the two became fast friends. Jean found Trebek extremely charming and soon after they married, their son, Matthew, was born. They had a daughter, Emily, in 1993.
The couple will celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. Trebek says his only regret in life is that he didn’t meet his wife sooner, because they could have had a longer life together.
Success runs in the family
Trebek’s three children followed in their dad’s footsteps. The kids are hard-working and successful, traits that they attribute to their father’s support as they were growing up. Trebek is very proud of his kids, saying: “They’re really sharp and have done their due diligence in their respective endeavors.”
Nicky Trebek, 53, works on Jeopardy! with her dad. She is a production coordinator, and she has enjoyed the opportunity to work so closely with her father. Nicky is also a singer/songwriter and has her own clothing label, ROCK IDOL. She’s worked as a model in consumer ads, starred in television shows and films, and hosted infomercials. She and Trebek share a passion for an organized and tidy house.
Matthew Trebek, 30, is a restaurant-owner with a passion for the hospitality industry. Matthew owns three wildly popular eateries in New York City. The first, Oso, features authentic Mexican street food. Last spring, he opened a cocktail bar and event space called Lucille’s. Just next door, Matthew opened Pizza By Lucille. Trebek wasn’t thrilled about his son opening a restaurant in the beginning, but he came around quickly. He enjoyed observing the construction process and watching the plans come together.
Emily Trebek, 27, works as a real estate agent in California. When Emily was a child, she wanted to be an architect. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University, she decided to try her hand as a real estate agent. She has always been interested in houses, and fixing things up. She shares her dad’s passion for home improvement projects, and she is now an experienced house flipper. She asked Trebek to help her with the process of flipping her first house. She learned a lot from him during that project, and cherishes the memories they made.
All three of Trebek’s children agree that their dad has always been a strong, positive influence. He taught them the value of hard work and perseverance. The family is lucky to have such a devoted and helpful father, and he is equally lucky to have such supportive kids.
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