‘Jeopardy!’: Alex Trebek’s Widow Jean Speaks of Her Late Husband’s Legacy in New Interview
Jeopardy! fans are still mourning the loss of game show icon Alex Trebek. The quiz master died in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer, leaving behind his wife, Jean, of 30 years, and three adult children. Jean has remained out of the spotlight since Trebek’s death, but recently sat down with Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie for an upcoming television special.
Alex Trebek makes ‘2021 Inspiration List’
In NBC’s upcoming special, Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List, several high-profile personalities will be profiled for making a positive impact in the past year of tumult.
Hosted by Guthrie, Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb, and NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, the TV program spotlights celebrities, business leaders, and school teachers who stepped up to the plate in an unprecedented year.
According to Today.com, honorees on the Inspiration List include Lin-Manuel Miranda, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, celebrity chef and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés, Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, a Dallas elementary school teacher, and Alex and Jean Trebek.
Jean Trebek shared what inspired Alex Trebek
By Trebek’s side throughout his entire illness, Jean told Guthrie that they were flooded with support by Jeopardy! fans.
“I think one of the beautiful things,” Jean remarked, “the blessings that came, if you can call it a blessing, is that he got to really see the outpouring of love and admiration that he gave to the world.”
Jean noted how the global show of solidarity for Trebek served as a motivation for strength.
“Some people just, you know, you don’t see that while you’re still embodied,” Trebek’s wife explained. “You don’t get to really witness all the love that people feel for you. And I know that that was, in and of itself, a huge inspiration for Alex.”
Alex Trebek’s legacy of giving back continues
Jean also shared how she will continue her late husband’s philanthropic endeavors, which includes a new homeless bridge housing center for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, named in honor of Trebek.
“Hope of the Valley is helping to change the landscape of homelessness here in the San Fernando Valley for the better,” Jean said, according to ABC7.com. “I know how proud Alex was of their mission. He was so deeply grateful to be a part of the solution.”
The couple donated $500K to build the new structure. Trebek spoke at the shelter in July 2020, sharing how much the shelter meant to him and his wife.
“I was delighted to come out here today because it’s so important to Los Angeles and in particular, the Valley,” Trebek said, as reported by Los Angeles Magazine. “As I pointed out, Jean and I are Valley people. I’m not one of those NIMBYs. I’m not one of those people who thinks that we can’t deal with the homeless near my house because that’s bad. I don’t feel that way. I wish more people would react in a positive way to reaching out and trying to help their fellow member of the community.”
Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List airs May 1 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and Telemundo.