Alex Trebek’s son Matthew just donated his dad’s impressive Jeopardy! wardrobe to previously homeless or incarcerated men who are now on the job hunt
Alex Trebek was more than just a warm presence on the nightly Jeopardy! stage, he was also a sharp and impeccably dressed man with a suit closet that seemed endless. Trebek died of pancreatic cancer at age 80 last year and his son, wondering what he could do with his dad’s vast and well-tailored wardrobe, donated the expansive lot of garments to an organization that provides suits to previously incarcerated or homeless men as they embark on their job hunt.
Per InsideWink, when his father passed, 30-year-old Matthew Trebek knew he couldn’t inherit his dad’s vast Jeopardy! wardrobe (he’s much taller than Alex) and wanted the clothes to go to someone who would appreciate it, when he got the idea to donate them to to the Doe Fund, which helps homeless and formerly incarcerated men rebuild their lives, by providing housing, job counseling, and work opportunities. Matthew, a restauranteur in New York, already worked with men at the Doe Fund, allowing them to train with the chefs at his restaurants, so donating his dad’s massive wardrobe to the organization just made sense.
“I loved the idea of guys getting a second chance to go on interviews and feel presentable in my dad’s clothes,” Matthew told The Washington Post. “My dad had a large wardrobe for Jeopardy! because they taped five shows a day, two days a week. It all just kind of clicked.”
In January, Matthew donated his father’s carefully-maintained wardrobe, which The Washington Post says consisted of 300 neckties, 58 dress shirts, 25 polo shirts, 15 belts, 14 suits, nine sports coats, and a number of sweaters and winter coats.
Harriet McDonald, president of the Doe Fund, said most of the suits and shirts have already been distributed to men seeking employment, and most of the ties will be given to program participants as a gift when they start new jobs. “Our guys are over the moon to wear something that was worn on television by Alex Trebek,” she said.
One man in the program who received two of Alex’s suits (one in charcoal gray and one in deep purple) was released from prison last March and plans to wear his new suits to restaurant interviews.
“Alex Trebek was a sharp-dressed man, and now I’m wearing his suits? Amazing,” he told The Washington Post. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I’m hoping to better my life, and looking presentable in the workplace is a step in the right direction.”
“This support is crucial to the men we serve, whom we provide the career training and work experience necessary to find steady employment but are too often in need of professional attire,” the organization wrote on Instagram. “…Alex [is a] guardian angel smiling down on them today.”