Friday 17 July 2020

Book ~ "Who Is Alex Trebek?" (2020) Lisa Rogak

From Goodreads ~ 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 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.

Alex Trebek was born in Sudbury, ON, in 1940 to a Ukrainian father and Franco-Ontarian mother.  His parents broke up when he young, with his mother leaving the home because she wouldn't have been able to support the two children if she took them with her.  His father couldn't work and look after them so Alex was sent to boarding school in Ottawa, where he eventually went to university.  Not knowing what he wanted to do after graduation, he applied for a job at CBC and that was the start of his career.  After spending about 12 years with CBC doing various jobs, he headed to the U.S. and ended up hosting many game/quiz shows, including Jeopardy! since 1984.

Alex married his second wife, Jean, in 1990 and at the age of fifty, became a father for the first time (they now have two children).  He also discovered a thirty year secret that he has a half brother.  Alex and Jean have supported many causes over the years, both financially and with their time.  In March 2019, he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and started chemo treatments.

Who hasn't heard of or watched Jeopardy!?  I like the show and Alex seems like a nice guy so I thought it would be interesting to learn more about him.  I don't know if the author spent any time with Alex but the notes section in the back is quite detailed.  I liked the writing style ... there was a lot of information provided but it wasn't too much.  I feel like I got to know Alex, if what the author writes is true.  It was also interesting to get some behind-the-scenes info on what happens on Jeopardy!.

I read an ARC-version and I'm assuming (hoping?) the published version will have pictures as there were none in the ARC.  If there aren't any, there should be.

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