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Alex Trebek Gushes About Wife Jean: "She's Kept Me Alive"

Alex Trebek

Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek is sharing his love for his wife of three decades, Jean. In a moving interview with People, the game show host opened up about how Jean has been his mainstay in sickness and in health...especially during his struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Related: WATCH: Alex Trebek Updates Fans on Jeopardy! Retrospective, His Health

Trebek mused of his wife, for whom he's worked to stay strong during his illness:

She's kept me alive. If it weren’t for Jean, I’d have put myself out of this a long time ago.

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They met in 1988, when Alex was 47 and Jean was 23. The divorced Trebek had some trepidation about their age gap, but love wound up prevailing, and the pair shares two kids.

In his memoir, he penned:

With Jean it just happened. Sometimes you look at something, you look at someone, and you know. I mean, you’ve heard stories of people who meet and decide within half an hour; I knew this was going to be the person I’d end up with. With Jeanie that’s how it was. I wasn’t looking for love. But I recognized at a gut level that here was someone who was going to complete me as a human being.

At their 1990 wedding, Trebek quipped memorably, as he recounted in his new autobiography:

When the minister said, 'Do you, Alex, take Jean to be your wife?' I said, 'The answer is ... Yes.' Leave it to me, always trying to go for a laugh. And I got one. Everybody cracked up.

Pick up this week's People for more on this moving marriage.