Alex Trebek Wished He Met His Wife Jean Sooner

Alex Trebek Jean

Getty Alex Trebek (R) and wife Jean Currivan Trebek

Alex Trebek, the longtime host of popular game show Jeopardy!, died early this morning. TMZ reported that he “passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” a Jeopardy! spokesperson told the outlet. In March 2019, Trebek revealed that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind his wife, Jean Currivan, their two kids, Matthew and Emily, and his adopted daughter from a previous relationship, Nicky.

On November 11, Jean Trebek posted publicly about her husband’s death, writing, “My family and I sincerely thank you all for your compassionate messages and generosity. Your expressions have truly touched our hearts. Thank you so very, very much. Many Blessings to all, Jean Trebek.” She added a photo of the couple on their wedding day alongside her tribute.

Trebek opened up about his romance and marriage to Jean in the past and told People in 2019 that his life’s biggest regret was not meeting his wife sooner. He said:

I’m pretty satisfied with my life. But my wife Jean and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about his life about what a nice guy he is, and how he and his wife had been together 73 years. I thought, oh my gosh… if I’d just met Jean in my 20s we could have had a longer life together.

He then joked, “I guess if I’d met her when I was in my 20s she wouldn’t have been born yet. But hey, 29 years is pretty good!”

Trebek Met His Wife Jean in 1988 & They Tied the Knot 2 Years Later

The Ontario, Canada, native met Jean at a party in New York in 1988 before marrying in 1990. There was a 24-year age gap between the two, which they discussed before. Trebek told People in 1990 that it worried him at first, but then decided, “The hell with it. We’ll make it work.” Jean didn’t have the same reservations, she said she understood his caution and didn’t push him.

She said when she first met Trebek, she was “really nervous. I was afraid I’d mispronounce my own name! But Alex is really down to earth. He’s much more casual than he is on the show.” She also shared that, “There was just this deep sensitivity about him with a gruffy exterior. I kept thinking, he’s 24 years older than me... but there was something that just kept drawing me to him.”

Only three weeks after their April 30 wedding, the couple found out they were expecting their first child together.

Trebek & Jean Had a Long & Happy Marriage Together

Alex Trebek

GettyAlex Trebek (L) and Jean Currivan Trebek

The two were married for many years and Trebek previously shared how they made their marriage work. He said both of them loved staying in as well as going out. He said in his spare time, he liked repairing things and tinkering with things: “I like to fix things. I was never into going out to clubs. It wasn’t my scene.” He said one of their common rituals was to watch a movie together in bed after dinner.

Jean said they had their ups and downs, which is normal for any couple. “We have our challenges,” she told People in early 2019. “And then we have our really beautiful times, where we’re just so blessed to know that we’re in each other’s courtyard.” She said one thing she loved about him throughout the years was his sense of humor and the fact that he wouldn’t take himself too seriously. She said, “He’s just an intelligent human being. Part of Alex’s staying youthful is his staying curious.”

READ NEXT: Jean Currivan Trebek, Alex’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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