After a contestant wrote “We love you, Alex!” as his Final Jeopardy! answer, fans around the world quickly chimed in to proclaim their own love and support for beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. In the wake of his devastating cancer diagnosis, the moment provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on what the show — and the man – meant to them.
It was no surprise, since millions of devoted viewers have long considered Alex Trebek to be a part of their daily lives ever since he began hosting the show in 1984. Now, bestselling biographer Lisa Rogak gives readers a look at Trebek's early life, his career, and his personal life throughout the years, drawing on many sources to tell his full story for the first time.
There are many surprises, like the fact that Trebek was almost 50 when he discovered that he had a half brother, as well as the revelation that for a short time he actually dreamed of becoming a priest. The native Canadian also struggled with depression after the failure of his first marriage, and for years afterward he despaired of ever having a family of his own until he met the woman who would become his soulmate.
Who Is Alex Trebek? is the first biography of the much-loved game show host, and as such, celebrates the man who has created a remarkable legacy that will live on in popular culture for generations to come.
Rogak (Rachel Maddow) doesn't impress in her latest celebrity biography, a superficial look at game show host Alex Trebek that adds little to what's been written before. Trebek was born in 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario, and had an unremarkable childhood as a bookworm with an insatiable curiosity. While he dreamed of a career as a pilot, doctor, or politician as a child, he never pursued those paths. After college, he became a part-time radio announcer for the CBC, which led to his career in entertainment. He spent over 13 years at the CBC, then headed to L.A. in in 1972, where he hosted a variety of TV game shows before getting his big break with Jeopardy!, a position that led to him becoming a cultural icon, and to polling as one of the most trusted people in America. Rogak carries the story through to early 2020, when a diagnosis of stage IV pancreatic cancer threatened to end his career. The book is hampered by trite prose ("Between books and maps, he knew there was a big world out there, and he wanted to learn all about it") and never manages to get deeper than surface level. Jeopardy!'s many fans would do well to wait for Trebek's forthcoming autobiography.