"Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek, who's publicly battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, has written a memoir, "The Answer Is… Reflections on My Life," that will be published July 21 — one day before his 80th birthday.
Trebek has spent decades resisting pleas to pen his life story, but changed his mind after being moved by the outpouring of supportive messages from fans since announcing his cancer diagnosis in March 2019. "I want people to know a little more about the person they have been cheering on for the past year,” Trebek wrote in an excerpt from the book shared by publisher Simon & Schuster on Tuesday.
Trebek's book combines personal anecdotes from his life along with his candid thoughts on topics ranging from marriage and parenthood to success and spirituality. The beloved host also answers "Jeopardy" viewers' most pressing questions, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache and what he thinks of former "Saturday Night Live" star Will Ferrell’s impersonation of him.
"Today, when there is so much uncertainty and turmoil in the world, Alex Trebek is a beacon of stability and positivity,” said Sean Manning, an executive editor at Simon & Schuster, in a statement. “This wise, charming and inspiring book is further evidence why he has long been considered one of the most beloved and respected figures in entertainment."
Trebek, who shares two children Emily, 27, and Matthew, 29, with his wife of 30 years, Jean Currivan, 55, first announced his cancer diagnosis a year ago. He shared an emotional update about his condition in a candid video last month.
"The one-year survival rate for stage 4 pancreatic cancer patients is 18%,'' he said. "I'm very happy to report, I have just reached that marker."
Trebek spoke honestly about the obstacles he's faced over the past year, such as physical pain, speech issues, hair loss and depression. "There were moments of great pain, days when certain bodily functions no longer functioned, and sudden, massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it really was worth fighting on,'' he shared.
But Trebek "brushed that aside quickly" saying if he had given into those dark thoughts, it would have been a "betrayal" to his wife, to God, to fans and to other cancer patients who see him as a source of inspiration.
Trebek ended his message by expressing hope for the next year.
"You know, my oncologist tried to cheer me up the other day,'' Trebek said. "He said, 'Alex, even though the two-year survival rate is only 7%, he was certain that one year from now the two of us would be sitting in his office celebrating my second anniversary of survival.'
"And you know something? If I, no, if we — because so many of us are involved in this same situation — if we take it just one day at a time with a positive attitude, anything is possible."