Alex Trebek's Daughter Nicky on How She's Carrying on His Legacy
Alex Trebek’s daughter, Nicky Trebek, is carrying on her father’s legacy of graciousness and giving. Looking back at her dad’s indelible mark on culture and tireless dedication to his fans, Nicky opened up to ET about how she’s keeping her father’s torch burning bright.
Speaking with ET’s Lauren Zima, Nicky explained how, since Alex’s death last year, she’s been focused on “getting involved in as many things as possible that he had started. That seems to just give me a purpose.”
Trebek died on Nov. 8 after a long battle with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In 2019, Alex and wife Jean, along with Nicky, attended the PanCAN PurpleStride, a fundraising walkathon that benefits the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
“To see him onstage with the other survivors, is not something he would normally do, join a bunch of strangers, he’s very humble, you know, a shy man,” she recalled. “To see him joining everybody onstage and sharing his story and really becoming one with the other survivors was amazing to me.”
In honor of her dad’s participation, she’s launched a team of fundraisers and is participating in this year’s virtual PurpleStride event. Team Nicky Trebek has already raised over $5,000 for the event, which kicks off May 1.
“I will stay with PanCAN and will be their advocate for as long as I can, and if I am able to do it,” she shared. “Whatever I can to do help them post away, social media galore, and just encourage people to get out there.”
One of the things Nicky recalled most about her father was his appreciation for his fans and his kind and supportive personality. Especially when it came to getting fan mail.
“When I think of my dad, I think of the word gracious. And I want everybody to know how gracious he was and how each and every letter meant something to him,” Nicky said. “I swear to you, there is not one of those things where there is a copy of his signature.”
She recalled how, when she was younger, he would get several boxes of fan letters, sometimes every week, which he would bring home and read through, diligently.
“He’d unpack them. He’d sign everything. That’s what made him feel good,” she said. “At his desk, signing everything and making sure each person got an answer to their question, to their hope, to their plea.”
“And that is his legacy — the way he treated his fans,” she added.
Alex’s legacy is also his long-running and adored TV game show, Jeopardy! In the wake of his death, the show has turned to a series of guest hosts, and has not yet decided on a permanent replacement. However, Nicky feels her father would have been supportive of whatever decision the producers made.
“I just know that Dad would’ve been supportive to everyone and given everybody his best wishes. And I do hope that they take their time, you know? That’s all,” she shared. “And [the producers] know what they’re doing. They’re all just so wonderful and they’ve been doing this a long time. They’re gonna make great choices.”
Meanwhile, Alex’s son, Matthew, recently announced he would be donating his father’s wardrobe to The Doe Fund, a charity that helps the homeless and previously incarcerated reenter the workforce.
Check out the video below to hear more about how Matthew is honoring his dad’s legacy of giving and kindness.
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