Alex Trebek Wants to Become a Grandparent Before He Dies

Jeopardy! is synonymous with Alex Trebek. It’s impossible not to mention one without the other. Hosting the classic game show for 36 years, the longtime quiz master wants to take on a new title; grandfather. Keep reading to find out what 79-year-old has to say about mortality, his pancreatic cancer diagnosis, and his bucket list.

Alex Trebek before taping of 'Jeopardy!' Power Players Week
Alex Trebek before taping of Jeopardy! Power Players Week | Kris Connor/Getty Images

Alex Trebek announces cancer diagnosis

On March 6, 2019, Trebek shared the news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis with the world. In a video posted to the game show’s YouTube and the rest of their social media channels, he briefly explained his intentions “to fight this.” 

“I’m going to keep working 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,” Trebek said in the clip filmed on the Jeopardy! set.

Lightening up the mood of the video by making a joke about his contract with the show, he assured fans he has no plans to go anywhere. 

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“Truth told, I have to [continue hosting] because under the terms of my contract, I have to host Jeopardy! for three more years. So, help me. Keep the faith, and we’ll win. We’ll get it done.”

In the wake of the stunning announcement, Jeopardy! fans have shown their support for Trebek in the form of encouraging messages. The response even swayed the TV personality to write a memoir, The Answer Is… : Reflections on My Life, due out on July 21, 2020, the day before he turns 80. 

He’s a father of 3

Undergoing another round of chemotherapy in 2019, Trebek has his family by his side. He and his longtime wife, Jean Currivan Trebek, have two children together, Matthew and Emily. Trebek is also father to an adopted daughter, Nicky, from his first marriage to Elaine Callei. They support Trebek through his admittedly tough days.

During a conversation with CTV’s Lisa LaFlamme in October 2019, the game show host explained how his kids reacted to his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. 

“They were upset when they first learned about it, but they look at me and they don’t see too many changes in me, you know,” he said. “So it’s not like, ‘Oh god, he’s deteriorating before our very eyes.'”

It would ‘bother’ Alex Trebek not to be a grandparent before dying

Trebek’s been open about how he views his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. To him, it’s simply “a part of life.” In fact, he didn’t consider it “devastating news.” However, knowing he has a “close-ended life” has made him all too aware of what he wants to do with his future. One thing he knows for sure is that he wants to become a grandparent. 

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“It does bother me that I might pass on before I get to have a grandchild,” he said, adding “Hint, hint,” with a laugh.

If Trebek has his way, his kids will be making him a grandfather soon. Who knows, maybe a grandchild will be his 2020 Father’s Day gift. 

Although Trebek admits he’s done a lot in his lifetime, there are still things on his bucket list. Chatting with Jeopardy! contestants during the show’s signature small talk segment in a 2020 episode, the TV personality shared a few places he’s longing to visit. He wants to travel to Angkor Wat, a temple in Cambodia and South America’s Iguazu Falls.

Here’s to Trebek enjoying his time off while Jeopardy! airs reruns due to the coronavirus.

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