Alex Trebek’s dapper duds have a new role.
Some of the wardrobe worn by the beloved “Jeopardy!” host — who died Nov. 8 at age 80 following a battle with pancreatic cancer — has been donated to the Doe Fund, a nonprofit that provides housing, vocational training, continuing education and other services for formerly homeless and incarcerated New Yorkers.
“During his last day on set, Alex extolled the virtues of everyone opening up their hands and their hearts to those who are suffering,” said “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards, in a statement. “Donating his wardrobe to those who are working to rebuild their lives is the perfect way to begin to honor that last request.”
Among the donated items are 14 suits, 58 dress shirts, 300 ties, 25 polo shirts, 14 sweaters, nine sport coats, nine pairs of dress shoes, 15 belts, two parkas and three pairs of dress slacks. The clothes will go to participants in the Doe Fund’s re-entry program — called Ready, Willing & Able — as attire suitable for job interviews.
Trebek’s son, Matthew, is a supporter of the organization and had suggested making the contribution.
“We are so grateful for ‘Jeopardy!’ and the Trebek family’s commitment to lifting up the most vulnerable among us,” said Harriet McDonald, president of the Doe Fund. “The men in our career training programs are always in need of professional attire, so they can shine in their job interviews and work with confidence once they’re hired. This donation alleviates the obstacle of not having appropriate clothing.”
The generosity has additional meaning for Harriet, whose husband — Doe Fund founder and president George McDonald — died of lung cancer at age 76 last month.
“We understand the enormous loss Matt and Jean [Trebek’s wife] are going through, as well as their incredible resilience in the face of hardship,” Harriet said. “I’m thankful that George got to see Alex’s suits delivered to the people we serve before he left us. This generous gift honors the legacies of both men, and I know they’re smiling down on us.”
Trebek’s last episode aired Jan. 8 and included a poignant video tribute to the longtime host. Since then, a long roster of celebrities has been lined up to fill his shoes, including game show champion Ken Jennings, Katie Couric, newly engaged Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and “Big Bang Theory” alum Mayim Bialik.