‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek Revealed Touching Details About How He, Wife Jean Thrived as a Couple

by Samantha Whidden

He’s known for his iconic hosting duties on Jeopardy!, but to Alex Trebek, his marriage with Jean was a major key focus in his life. 

During an interview in 2016 with The Saturday Evening Post, Alex Trebek reveals how he and Jean thrive as a couple. “Viewers of the show have told me that over the past 20 years I have mellowed as a host. My wife has helped to soften me. I try to be more understanding when players make mistakes, to ease the blow for them. I think that’s the main change that my wife has brought about in me.”

Alex further reveals, “She’s more in tune with the spiritual side of our personalities. I’m not. She says I am, but I deny it. People ask me what guides me. There’s an old saying, I think it’s by Goethe, “If you can dream it, do it, because there is power and glory in doing.” I think that’s it. Dream all you want, but get off your duff and make the effort. Otherwise, you could wind up regretting, and no one likes regret. Take a chance and do it. What’s the worst that could happen to you?”

Alex Trebek also shares details about his persona away from Jeopardy! set. “I’m not going to dispel the notion of viewers that I am this brilliant human being. But the truth is if I were a contestant I could never get my hand on the button in time. Maybe fans should know I like to fix things around the house when they break and I shop at Home Depot. They should know I am highly competitive, but more with myself than others. I’m always trying to better myself. I try to read more. When I was a kid, I would read and get so excited I just couldn’t wait to get to the next page. Reading a book can provide a level of enjoyment that television can’t seem to do on a regular basis.”

Alex Trebek passed away from stage IV pancreatic cancer in November 2020. The couple was married for 30 years before his passing.

Alex Trebek’s Wife Shares How Much ‘Jeopardy!’ Meant to Him

Alex Trebek’s wife, Jean, recently revealed how much hosting Jeopardy! meant to him. “Doing Jeopardy! really gave him a sense of purpose. A reason to wake up in the morning,” Jean says during NBC’s Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List Special. “And I would say we all need that. We all need a purpose. I think I knew his life was going to, on Earth here, would wrap up quickly when he could no longer do the show. But he wanted to finish strong. And he did. And he lived life on his own terms.”

Jean goes on to add, “[Alex’s] gift was that he could be very resolute, and he knew that the truth would not hurt you. And he wanted to, I think, empower people to move through whatever challenge they had in life with a sense of inner strength, inner dignity, and love.”