Alex Trebek's Kids Share Some Father's Day Memories

The Trebek siblings: Emily Trebek, Matthew Trebek and Nicky Trebek at a recent family gathering in Los Angeles.

The world knows Alex Trebek as the host of Jeopardy!

But to his kids, he’s just Dad

Alex and I are so blessed to have two wonderful children, Matthew and Emily. The older, Matthew, has a true sincerity and gentleness to him while being a natural born athlete. Emily was a very curious child, much like her Dad, and has a beautiful strong sense of self. Matthew and I are more “go with the flow” people, while Emily and Alex suggest how the flow should go 🙂

If that weren’t enough good fortune, we have the added benefit of Nicky being part of our family. Nicky is the daughter of Alex’s first wife, Elaine, whom I have great affection for. Nicky is a couple of years younger than me, and so I have also enjoyed getting to know her and I consider her to be one of my dearest friends. She is full of soulfulness with a dash of rock n’roll…a truly benevolent person.

It feels to me like our little family was meant to be…the stars all were aligned to bring together such unique personalities which deeply support and respect each other. What’s interesting for me to witness, is that they each have had their own unique experiences with Alex and that really reflects back different perspectives on the man I married.

When we’re together I feel such joy. It really pleases me that Matthew, Emily and Nicky have become such great friends and close siblings.

Recently, we were together for a dinner, and in honor of father’s day, I asked them some answer some questions about their Dad…

Alex Trebek with his kids at his birthday party, Saddle Peak Lodge, Malibu, 2012

Alex Trebek’s kids celebrating their Father’s birthday at Saddle Peak Lodge in Malibu (2012)

Alex Trebek’s Kids Share a Gift of Memories with Dad for Father’s Day

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Emily:
My favorite memory would be all of the times we spent at our Lake House in Paso Robles. My dad would be on the jet ski and would take us for rides in the innertube.

Matthew:
There are many good memories, but I really loved it when my Dad would come to all of my paintball tournaments with me… although it was a very unique sport, he still got very enthusiastic about watching and learning the game.

Nicky:
When he took me on a trip to a wine symposium in Hawaii. I wasn’t a kid, but Vincent Price attended and I got to sit next to him at a dinner. Needless to say it was unforgettable.
Bonus: On that trip he told me he was going to marry Jean and I could see how happy he was!

Statue of a Maltese Facon on Alex Trebek's desk

Name one thing that you will always find on your Father’s desk.

A lot of mail
—Emily Trebek

A rock I gave him that says “I believe in you”
—Nicky Trebek

Statue of the Maltese Falcon
—Matthew Trebek

What do you think your Father is most proud of about you?

Nicky:
It’s always hard when someone asks you something like that about any parent I think. I’d like to think he’s proud of the person I am and how I show up in the world for others. 

Emily:
I think my Dad is most proud that I started my own business in the remodeling/construction field, and that it has been (so far) a success.

Matthew:
I think my dad is proud to see me working in an industry that makes me happy…doing what I love.

Jean and Alex Trebek's Kids: Emily and Matthew
Nicky Trebek with her father, Alex Trebek

How are you like your Dad?

Matthew:
We both tend to be discerning when it comes to sharing our feelings and I think we’re both very capable in taking care of most household repairs.

Nicky:
I have a similar passion for organization in my household. Haha. Dad is extremely into cleanliness and organization.

Emily:
My Dad and I are both pretty Type-A individuals…I think I got a lot of my organizational, financial and perfectionistic traits from him. He also has always been into construction so I think that rubbed off on me too.

Alex Trebek’s Kids Share a Gift of Memories with Dad for Father’s Day

Do you get tired of people humming the Jeopardy! theme song, when they know your Father is in the room?

Thankfully, nobody really does that.
—Matthew Trebek

I agree with Matt – luckily, not too many people do that!
—Emily Trebek

Tony’s tune? Haha It was originally a lullaby written for Tony Griffin. Well? I work on the show so I hear it all the time, but no, I’m happy to say people don’t often do that.
—Nicky Trebek

What is a gift that your Father has given you that you will always remember?

Emily:
Typically, my mom usually gets the gifts on behalf of the both of them. However, one Christmas my Dad went out on his own and picked a bracelet for me.  It was very special and I haven’t taken it off since.

Matthew:
He gave me a cross that he wore when he was a young man, and although
I’m not religious, it meant a lot to me.

Nicky:
There’s a stunning painting from my childhood of God and the Devil/Good and Evil that now lives in my house, But as a child I would look up at it in wonder. One Christmas he put a large bow on it and gave it to me. It’s my favorite piece of art and has deep meaning to me.

An Father's Day interview with Alex Trebek's Kids

What’s your Dad’s favorite power tool?

His brain! Haha
That’s actually a question for my brother.
—Nicky Trebek

Whatever gets the job done.
—Matthew Trebek

Whatever fixes a broken sprinkler.
—Emily Trebek

What is your Dad really good at?

Emily:
He is really good at his job and also fixing things around the house. I always call him if I have an issue around the house and he’ll be over within the hour with the perfect tool!

Matthew:
He’s great at staying focused and fixing sprinklers.

Nicky:
He’s really good at his profession. The best in the business. People don’t really understand what it takes to do what he does. He is meticulous and I feel very honored to have been able to watch him behind the scenes all of these years.

 

RELATED: “Dad, How Do I?”  With a new instructional video each week, Rob Kenney teaches basic tasks that everyone should know how to do. Read it here

Alex Trebek with his two of his children, Nicky Trebek and Matthew Trebek
Ale Trebek with his daughter, Emily trebek

Nicky, what’s it like to work at Jeopardy! with your Father being the host? Is there more pressure on you?

I started working on the show the year it started, in 1984. I can’t explain the special relationship I’ve had with Jeopardy!  My life has taken me many different directions over the past 30 years but being back at Jeopardy! for the past five has been an incredible blessing. It’s interesting how we are guided to different places in our lives and I believe I’m there to support and be a blessing to him which makes me really grateful. Especially now.

As far as extra pressure? Sure, of course, but I can handle it. I’m tough like him. LOL. It does feel as if more eyes are on me to do the right thing and very aware when I do the wrong thing (haha) but all in all working on Jeopardy! has been and still is like my second family. The Jeopardy! fam is strong and resilient. I’m lucky to be a part of it. 

Matthew, was your Dad happy about the opening of your Oso and Lucille’s restaurants?

Yes, he was. I think the opening of my restaurants sort of brought things full circle because his dad was a chef at a hotel in Canada.

Matthew Trebek’s restaurants in Harlem, NY: Oso, Lucille’s Coffee & Cocktails, Pizza By Lucille’s

Emily, did your Dad have any influence on you wanting to flip houses? Did he help you in any way (he is always fixing something at home, so was he like that when you designed a house)?

I’ve always had an interest in design and flipping a home has always been on my “bucket list”. When I bought the first house, I asked for my Dad’s help because he’s extremely handy and really knows a lot about construction. He worked at the jobsite every single day and taught me so much. It really meant a lot to me how much time he dedicated to the project.

Visit Emily’s E&S Interiors website and follow on instagram

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Do Alex Trebek's kids prefer Dad with or without a mustache? See their answers...

With or without a mustache?

Without!
—Emily Trebek

With a mustache.
—Matthew Trebek

With. Reminds me of childhood.
—Nicky Trebek

What personality trait have you seen shine through over the years that you admire in your Father?

Matthew:
His persistence when it comes to solving challenges…Never give up!

Emily:
His determination… when he has his mind set on something, nothing will change it!

Nicky:
His generosity to everyone and his humility about it. I personally experienced him writing hundreds of thousands of thank you notes while he battled for his life. It’s truly astounding. I honestly can’t even put it into words.

Happy Father’s Day!

Alex Trebek with his family at his birthday celebration: (2109) His son Matthew, daughter Emily, Alex, his wife Jean and daughter Nicky

Celebrating Dad’s 79th birthday at The Bistro Garden in Studio City, CA: Jean and Alex Trebek with Matthew, Emily and Nicky (2019)

Follow and insidewink on Instagram and Facebook!

RELATED:

How the worst of times brings out the best in people.
Emily Trebek delivers dinners to hospital staff and everyday heroes making a difference. Read it here

Sharing in the joy of giving back to the community.
Matthew Trebek and his business partners serving up true hospitality. Read it here

A tribute to the men in my life.
Jean Trebek honors the prominent men in her life. Read it here

With Alex…What you see is what you get.
ABC’s 20/20 speaks with Alex and Jean Trebek. Read it here

Follow Jean Trebek on Instagram!

By JEAN TREBEK

Jean is a Professional Religious Science Practitioner, Reiki Master and Sound Healer. She grew up on Long Island, NY, and now lives in Los Angeles with her wonderful husband of 29 years, Alex, and has 2 amazing adult children, Matthew and Emily. Jean enjoys taking long walks, watching movies, and traveling. She is very grateful for her family, Willy the dog, friends and good coffee.

31 Comments

  1. Natalie

    This is such a sweet piece to read! Your kids are adorable, loving, kind, gentle and amazing. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories with us all. I loved hearing their different takes on everything. Your questions were so great Jean! Xoxo 💜💜💜

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Thanks, Natalie…
      Patti Ring did most of the work on creating this article…I collected the information and passed it on…I’m so glad you’re part of the insidewink team…so much Love to and for you.

      Reply
      • Doug

        Our family already loved Alex. After reading the article, we love him even more! What a wonderful human being.
        Thank you for putting together such a nice post.

        Reply
        • Rose Marie Dawkins

          I have always loved Alex Trebek. I am hoping my dream of taking a photo with Alex on the Jeopardy stage can still be a reality.

          Nice family seems very closely entwined. With so much fun on Jeopardy with Alex, I can just imagine the fun you all have at home.

          Love you!!!!

          Reply
  2. Ron

    I really enjoyed the article. It was obvious how much they love and respect their Dad. It was nice to see another side of someone who comes into my home most nights.

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Thanks for your comment, Ron….Happy you found your way to insidewink.com! All the best to you and yours.

      Reply
      • Timothy Brookes

        I originally started watching Jeopardy because I liked the game. But I actually think I like the show because of how nice Alex is. Would love to shake his hand.

        Reply
  3. megan jones

    Jean, what a touching and beautiful article. It’s also such a great father’s day gift! We really do have such magical feelings, memories and experiences with our families. Be well.

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Thanks, Megan.
      Your comment touches my heart.
      Hoping all is well with you and your loved ones.
      Take Care!

      Reply
      • Dorothy Hassard

        Thank you for this wonderful article. To hear such great words from his wife and his children is heartwarming. Alex is very much loved and has given so much enjoyment to so many people. Happy Father’s Day to you Alex!!

        Reply
    • Janet

      Really beautiful! You’ve inspired me to put something together for our Dad.
      Nicky and I began our friendship in Washington sharing about our Dads. So much in common. 💜

      Reply
  4. Jeanne LaPorte

    Thank you , Jean and all the Trebek children. Nicky, Matthew and Emily remind me of Jean’s Grace, giving of themselves. Thank you for sharing your father with the world on Jeopardy but also on an intimate level through this interview. You are truly and amazing family, with amazing parents. Wishing you all a Fabulous Father’s Day!

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Hi Jeanne…Thank you for your sweet comment!
      Sending you and your family all my love.
      Be well, dear friend.

      Reply
  5. Penny Benatovich

    No surprise…what an extraordinary family! Have a great Fathers Day!

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Penny!!!
      Thinking of you with my most kindest thoughts.
      Love always!

      Reply
  6. suz Webster

    Oh My I remember being at your house helping a friend of yours with a computer. Attempting to install some software that was taking forever, I suddenly unconsciously started humming the Jeopardy theme song. You were standing in the kitchen and laughed. I was mortified and so happy Alex hadn’t walked in the room. Hahaha silly how somethings just happen at the strangest times. xox

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Hi Suz,
      I absolutely remember that day….you crack me up! You were such a big help to my friend that day…a real blessing! Miss seeing you…you’re in my heart always.

      Reply
  7. Sarah Foss

    What a wonderful piece to read and a perfect Father’s Day gift! I love hearing about Alex from the perspective of the kids. Thank you for sharing this Jean!

    Reply
    • Jean Trebek

      Hi Sara,
      Thanks for your comment, and welcome to insidewink 😉
      May you feel blessed by Life.

      Reply
      • Marie Lena

        Thank you for sharing this beautiful info. I can never forget when we were at a jeopardy show and my son Joachim asked Alex for a photo and he could not say no to him. He said he hasn’t taken a photo with people other than the contestants. Everyone knew he was a special needs child. My son thanked me and said Mom you made my dream come true. After the show the crew wanted to see who was that kid including Sarah Jimmy and Kelly. Even Johnny came to say hi to him. I have the photos signed by Alex and the clue crew hanging On the wall in his bedroom. What an honor. He never misses a show. Blessings to all of you. Praying for his health more so now.

        Reply
  8. Kelly Miyahara

    I loved reading this. Thank you for sharing.❤️ What a priceless gift! I can only imagine how much Alex loves this and will always treasure it. Jean, you are such a beautiful writer, and gentle spirit. I am thankful to have had the chance to travel with you and Alex over the years and to know the man behind the icon. Amazing to witness Matthew and Emily grow-up with such grace – wow, time flies! I loved the chance to work with Nicky. What a genuine heart and rockin’ soul! Happy Father’s Day to Alex! With so much love and positive energy always…

    Reply
    • Jean

      Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for your lovely comment, and for checking out the website. I have such beautiful memories of us traveling together…you sharing your hair conditioner with me, LOL…and moreover, you being so professional and attentive to everyone! Many blessings to you and all you hold dear…Thank you for your loving heart. XOXOXO

      Reply
  9. Pamela Acosta Marquardt

    What immense joy I got from reading this beautiful piece – such a tribute to Alex and the impact he has had on his family. May he be blessed with many more years of happiness with his amazing family. . . so much love!

    Reply
  10. Jean

    Dear Pamela,
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment..
    Many Blessing to you and your family as well.
    Be well. With Love.

    Reply
  11. Jean

    Dear Pamela,
    Thanks for your sweet comment..
    Many Blessing to you and your family as well.
    Be well. With Love.

    Reply
  12. Kathy Kemp

    Loved to hear the children’s comments on the questions. I lost my husband 7 yrs ago after a year long battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It’s become easier and now we have so many fond memories and can laugh at the funny ones. Blessings to your wonderful family and praying for continues strength for your husband.

    Reply
  13. Ben

    Alex is consistently in my family’s prayers, and I’m very excited to read his book! We also enjoy watching him on Classic Concentration late at night on Buzzr! Hope he is doing okay during the pandemic.

    Reply
  14. Tina Bratton

    Thank you for the glimpse of your husband through the eyes of his children! I have respected him as I’ve watched him on television for most of my life. The older I get the more obvious it is what a special person he is on and off screen! My constant prayers are with you all as you walk the difficult road cancer can be. As a nurse, I see it all too often! I am a nurse because of walking that road with my own parents! Thank you, again and please hug one another for me!

    Reply
  15. Rachael Higbee

    Thank you so much for sharing! This was really heart-warming to read, especially as I personally look up to Alex a lot and admire him. Thank you for taking the time to make this and I wish you all well.

    Reply
  16. Karen Iffert

    I’ve enjoyed Jeopardy for years. How wonderful to read about Alex and your family from such a personal and loving place. Our prayers are with Alex every day. 🙏

    Love from Minnesota!

    Reply
  17. Marilee Botos

    This is a gift they will treasure-it reminds me of the book A Father’s Legacy, where provocative questions are asked of Dad and he writes in the answers so that his children see a side of him that they would not otherwise (what was your fist date like? what games did you play as a child? etc.). I wish I would have known the answers to these questions of my own father.

    Reply

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