Even though fans of “Jeopardy!” were used to seeing Alex Trebek in a dapper suit and tie while hosting the iconic game show, the late TV icon’s son Matthew shared that wasn’t the case off set and at home.
“I grew up watching him on TV and seeing him dressed up. That was one way that I obviously viewed him,” he told Entertainment Tonight in a new interview. “And then being with him around the house, he was very casual, dressed down a lot. He did a lot of work around the house, so most of his (clothes), it would be jeans and a T-shirt. A lot of the jeans and T-shirts had holes in them. Completely different than how he was on TV.”
But the younger Trebek did keep one special possession of his father’s that was from the formal part of his wardrobe: a tie that had been a gift from his mother, Jean.
“I kept a tie that my mom had given my dad,” he revealed. “As far as clothing goes, that was probably the most important item. Almost everything from ‘Jeopardy!’ went to The Doe Fund, and now we just have his closet at home here. We’ll still sort through those (items), but for right now, those are kind of staying put.”
Trebek passed away in November 2020 at the age of 80, about 20 months after he first announced publicly that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His family and the team at “Jeopardy!” teamed up to donate the longtime host’s show wardrobe to the nonprofit The Doe Fund. The group’s mission is “to break the cycles of homelessness, incarceration, and recidivism by providing holistic services, housing and work opportunities,” according to the organization’s website.
“Rocky Schmidt, who was one of the producers on ‘Jeopardy!’ and one of my dad’s very best friends asked, ‘Where should we donate them to?'” Matthew explained. “I knew The Doe Fund (from) working in Harlem at a restaurant. They have another location that’s not too far away. I think that the work they do, and the people that work for The Doe Fund, are really great, amazing people. So it kind of all made sense.
“I think giving second chances, and helping guys who had a bit of a rough past get back on their feet, I think that’s a great mission. And something that me and my family all support,” Matthew said, adding he believes his dad “would feel pretty good about it.”
Seeing his dad’s suits on the men of The Doe Fund program has made Matthew feel “great,” adding, “It’s really meaningful, and it’s really heartwarming.”
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