Alex Trebek Shares How He Wants People to React to His Memoir

Alex Trebek is officially an author. As of July 21, 2020, his memoir, The Answer Is …: Reflections On My Life, is available. In 160 pages, the longtime game show host touches on topics such as parenting, marriage, and of course, Jeopardy! and his cancer diagnosis. Ahead, learn what the TV personality wants people to take away from his book. 

Alex Trebek didn’t always want to write a memoir

Alex Trebek attends the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival
Alex Trebek attends the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival |

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For years, Canadian-born Trebek thought he’d never write a book about himself. He didn’t necessarily want to sit down and write about his life nor did he think people would be interested in his story. 

“He [Trebek] said he just didn’t feel like he had a story worth telling,” Sean Manning, executive editor at Simon & Schuster, told the Los Angeles Times.

In fact, for years the Jeopardy! host turned down requests from publishers about penning a memoir. 

He eventually changed his mind after cancer diagnosis

Trebek’s views on a memoir changed after he went public about the state of his health on March 6, 2019. In a video posted to Twitter and the game show’s other social media channels, Trebek shared with Jeopardy! fans he’d recently received a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Almost immediately, fans began rallying around Trebek. They showed their support by sharing with him how much he’s touched their lives.

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“The outpouring from our viewers after I revealed my diagnosis … that caught me by surprise and that humbled me a great deal,” he told NPR in July 2020. 

The messages of love and support coupled with one other factor convinced Trebek to write a memoir.

According to the LA Times, Manning periodically checked in with Trebek after the TV personality turned down his initial offer about a memoir. Things changed when the Jeopardy! host learned he’d be the subject of an unauthorized biography by Lisa Rogak. 

Due to be released around the time of his birthday — July 22, 2020 — he changed his mind and decided to write a memoir and debut it on July 21, 2020. With little time to waste, he set to work on churning out the book in March 2020. Trebek’s memoir came together in about six weeks.

Alex Trebek wants to make ‘people feel good’

In the same July 2020 interview with NPR, Trebek talked about the writing process. He didn’t particularly love it, saying the quick turnaround was a bit stressful. He went on to say what how he wants people to react after reading his book. 

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“I just want people to say, ‘He’s a good guy. Now I know why I like him,’” he said. 

He added that he’s happy people are responding positively to his book. 

“And so I guess I’ve accomplished what I wanted to,” Trebek said. “I’ve made people feel good. And I’m going to help a lot of good charities.”

The game show host said the proceeds from The Answer Is …: Reflections On My Life, will be donated to charity. 

He continues to host ‘Jeopardy!’

Since going public about his health, Jeopardy! fans have been speculating about who will take over for Trebek as the game show’s host. He’s insisted he doesn’t know who will succeed him nor does he have any say in the matter.

For now, Trebek continues to host the award-winning program while taping is shut down due to the coronavirus. However, Trebek’s scheduled to be back in the studio filming episodes without an audience. 

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