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Remembering the late Alex Trebek on his birthday

Here’s a look at some reflections from his memoir and his greatest moments on ‘Jeopardy!’

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Alex Trebek speaks at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California.

Alex Trebek speaks at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California. Trebek would have turned 82 on July 22.

Chris Pizzello, Invision via Associated Press

Alex Trebek, the beloved face of “Jeopardy!” for 36 years, would have turned 82 on July 22. To honor the TV icon, who died on Nov. 8, 2020, after enduring pancreatic cancer, here’s a look at some reflections from his memoir and his greatest moments on “Jeopardy!”


What Alex Trebek said about his pancreatic cancer diagnosis

In his memoir “The Answer is ... Reflections on My Life,” published a few months before his death, Trebek went beyond “Jeopardy!” to bring fans into his personal life — mentioning everything from his political views to his history with swearing to how he handled his cancer diagnosis.

Trebek shared that he sometimes regretted going public with his diagnosis because he felt that people looked to him for reassurance and strength — and he didn’t want to let them down, the Deseret News reported.

“The longer I’ve lived with the cancer, the more my definition of toughness has changed,” he wrote. “I used to think not crying meant you were tough. Now I think crying means you’re tough. It means you’re strong enough to be honest and vulnerable. It means you’re not pretending.” 

Trebek also shared his ups and downs with cancer, and said he doesn’t like using the terms “battling” and “fighting” when it comes to the disease because it implies there are winners and losers. 

“You get treatment and you get better. Or you don’t. And neither outcome is an indication of your strength as a person,” he wrote, per the Deseret News. “Yet I still believe in the will to live. I believe in positivity. I believe in optimism. I believe in hope, and I certainly believe in the power of prayer.” 

Visit this Deseret News article for more of Trebek’s personal reflections.


What Alex Trebek said about ‘Jeopardy!’

Although Trebek reflected deeply on his personal life in his memoir, he also revealed a lot about “Jeopardy!” — including his favorite contestant, thoughts on the theme song, the fact that his kids didn’t watch the show and the reason for the show’s success.

“The show has become part of the fabric of American life,” Trebek wrote. “At some point — and it occurred slowly over the years — we made the transition from just being an enjoyable quiz show to being part of your daily life.” 

Visit this Deseret News article for more “Jeopardy!” anecdotes.


Some of Alex Trebek’s greatest moments on ‘Jeopardy!’

Following Trebek’s death, the Deseret News rounded up some of the longtime “Jeopardy!” host’s best moments on the beloved quiz show — including his deadpan reaction when none of the contestants could answer a single clue in a category about football, and the time he got emotional when a contestant used the Final Jeopardy round to write “We love you, Alex” a few months after Trebek had revealed his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Visit this Deseret News story for more Trebek “Jeopardy!” highlights.