Before his grim cancer diagnosis, Alex Trebek reflected on his life with his amazing wife, Jean Trebek.
The Jeopardy! host sat down with People this past January, and reflected on his storied career in television — as well as his personal life. The sit-down took place shortly after the death of President George H.W. Bush, which really impacted Trebek. Though Alex said that he is extremely satisfied with his life thus far, if there was one thing that he could change, it would be meeting his beloved wife, Jean, sooner.
“But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years,” the 78-year-old said. “I thought, oh my gosh… if I’d just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together.”
In true Trebek form, he then cracked a joke — saying that if he would have met Jean when he was in his 20s, she actually wouldn’t have been born yet.
“But hey, 29 years is pretty good,” he quipped.
Little did Trebek know that just months after his tell-all interview, he and his beloved wife would be faced with the battle of their lives. As The Inquisitr shared yesterday, Trebek stunned his legions of fans by announcing that he was just diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Rather than having the media report the news, Trebek took it upon himself to let fans know of his recent health woes via a YouTube video on the Jeopardy! Channel.
The game show host, who told fans that he wanted to keep up with his tradition of being “open and transparent,” let viewers know that he wanted to share the news with them, rather than having them hear it from the Hollywood rumor mill. Though the prognosis for his particular type of cancer is grim — with many people living just two to six months after the diagnosis — Trebek bravely told his fans that he was going to fight the disease, and would continue working the job he loves.
“And with the love and support of my family and friends, and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease,” he told viewers.
Alex has had a storied career in television, serving as the host of the hit game show since 1984 — which equates to roughly 7,000 episodes. Jeopardy! has also gained a ton of accolades, garnering 33 Daytime Emmy Awards in addition to a Peabody Award.
Best of luck to Alex as he continues to fight the good fight.