Family first. Alex Trebek tries to be the best dad he can be for his three kids, Matthew, 30, Emily, 27, and Nicky, 54. In his new book, The Answer Is … : Reflections on My Life, exclusively obtained by Closer Weekly, the game show host reveals the “most challenging thing about fatherhood” is that it “introduced an element of fear” into his life.
“It’s not just the kids I worry about. It’s Jeanie too,” Alex, 79, writes of his wife, Jean Trebek. “She goes on walks in the park near our house quite often, she’ll go in the late afternoon. In the winter months, it gets dark early. I don’t like her being up there when it’s dark. It worries me.”
Alex and Jean welcomed son Matthew in 1990 and daughter Emily in 1993. Although he isn’t Nicky’s biological father, the Jeopardy! host says he treats her like she’s one of his own. “I never adopted Nicky,” he says of his ex-wife Elaine Trebek Kares’ kid. “Her biological father was alive at the time. I refer to her as my daughter by osmosis.”
In fact, Alex says they’re all a “very close-knit, happy family.” When his kids were in high school, Elaine would help them out by giving them “summer jobs.” That way, they could keep themselves busy and earn a few extra bucks before school started again.
“I’d go to all of Emily’s basketball and volleyball games,” the TV personality gushes. “Bryan Cranston and I helped out as assistant coaches. To be honest, I followed Jean’s lead on parenting. She is the calming influence. She has a more understanding personality than I am. She’s not as rigid.”
Alex, who has been battling stage IV pancreatic cancer, couldn’t have gone through it or raised his children without Jean by his side. “There were some very dark days when he just wanted to give up, but she has a way of lifting his spirits,” a source previously told Closer Weekly. “She makes him smile when he least expects it. He says he’s only beaten the odds this long because of his wife’s daily support.”
Now that’s what you call a great team.
Be sure to check out Alex’s book, The Answer Is … : Reflections on My Life, when it hits stands on Tuesday, July 21.