Alex Trebek is the host of Jeopardy and one of the most beloved games show hosts of all time. His estimated net worth is $50 million, but he wasn’t born wealthy. He worked hard to make his fortune. Here is The Untold Story Of Alex Trebek – America’s Most Beloved Game Show Frontman.
The Early Years
Alex Trebek was born, George Alexander Trebek, in 1940 in the city of Sudbury, which is located in Canada’s Ontario Province. His father, whose name was also George, traveled from Ukraine to Canada when he was still a child. Later, he worked as a chef. Alex’s mother’s name was Lucielle Lagace and was a French-speaking Canadian. Growing up, Alex was bilingual. When Alex was 13, his father helped him get his first job as a bellhop in the same hotel where he worked in the kitchen.
The University of Ottawa
Alex attended the University Of Ottawa and worked his way through school. In 1961, he graduated with a degree in philosophy. He was a debater in college and hoped to get a job in broadcasting. After graduating, he got a presenter’s role with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which covered everything from news to sports. He worked his way up to the position of the presenter of the national news.
His First Game Show
In 1969, Alex landed his first job on a game show. It was called Strategy. He moved to America in 1973 after he landed a job hosting the show, The Wizard of Odds. Over the years, he worked on a few different shows, and in 1984, he landed his dream job, which he still has today. He became the host of the show, Jeopardy!
Only the smartest people compete on Jeopardy. Alex asks a question in the form of an answer, and the contestants are required to answer in the form of a question. It is a backward way to play a game, but fans love it. Millions of people tune in each night playing along with the contestants. It has become a staple of American television.
In 1974, Alex married Elaine Callei, who worked in business. The couple divorced in 1981 and had no children. In 1990, Alex remarried. His wife’s name is Jean Currivan, and she is a real estate project manager from New York. The pair have two children, a son named Matthew and a daughter named Emily. Eight years after marrying Jean, Alex became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Alex was known for his signature mustache, and in 2001, during the 18th season of Jeopardy, he saved it off after 30 years. On the April 1, 2008, episode of Jeopardy, he wore a fake mustache for the first part of the show. It was an April Fool’s joke. During the summer of 2014, Alex grew the mustache back for the 31st season of the show and then shaved it off again a month into the season. At the beginning of the 2018 season, he grew a full beard but then shaved it down to a goatee by the second episode of the season. His mustache was gone by the second week, and he was cleanly shaven again. Alex’s facial hair and then lack thereof became a running joke on the show.
On January 30, 2004, Alex fell asleep behind the wheel of his pick-up truck. He was driving down a rural road in the Central Coast town of Templeton, California. He was heading home from his family home on Lake Nacimiento. And he fell asleep at the wheel, and sideswiped a string of mailboxes and then flew 45-feet over an embankment. The car came to a rest against a utility pole in a ditch. He managed to escape the accident with just minor injuries and was back at work four days later. Sadly, this wouldn’t be the last time that his like would be in danger.
Alex hasn’t always been open about his personal life, but in March 2019, he made an announcement that shocked his fans, and it was something that nobody wanted to hear. He announced that she was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Stage 4 is a grim diagnosis, but Alex remained positive. He joked that he would have to beat the cancer since he had just signed a new contract with Jeopardy for another three years.
After the diagnosis, the 79-year-old began treatment, while he continued working. He wasn’t going to let cancer stop him from doing the job that he loved. During an interview, Alex said that he isn’t afraid of dying. He said that he lived a long, full life. On November 11, 2019, Alex announced that he would be reentering treatment, and it would be his last episode of Jeopardy. During his final show, Alex was getting the contestants’ answers during Final Jeopardy. One of the contestants answered, “What is, we love you, Alex?” When Alex heard this, he got chocked up. Hours later, #WeLoveYouAlex was trending on Twitter. We all wish him the best.