Who Are Alex Trebek's Kids?

It's hard to imagine television without Alex Trebek. The Sudbury, Ontario native, who graduated with a degree in Philosophy and became a newscaster before jumping over to Jeopardy! in 1984, is a small screen icon. As of 2019, he had hosted nearly 8,000 episodes, won six Emmys (out of 30 nominations!), and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, according to his official show bio. But it's not just his career that has been incredible — Trebek also boasts an impressive personal life. 

A devoted family man, Trebek has been married to Jean Currivan Trebek, a real estate project manager, since 1990. According to People, the pair met at a party in 1988 and two years later, the then-49-year-old popped the question to his love on her 26th birthday. In 1990, they welcomed their first child, a son named Matthew, and in 1993, they had their daughter, Emily. Trebek also has an adoptive daughter, Nicky Trebek, from his first marriage to businesswoman Elaine Trebek Kares.

Although the legend's children don't spend much time in the spotlight, the apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree as all three are successful in their own right. Here's everything you need to know about Alex Trebek's kids. 

Matthew Trebek discovered his dream career in a bar

Not many people can say they found their life's calling in a bar, but that's exactly what happened for Matthew Trebek. While studying Philosophy (just like his dad!) at Fordham College at Rose Hill, Trebek started working as a bartender and got his first taste of the hospitality business. What began as a simple part-time gig soon turned into much more as he tended bar at various Manhattan hot-spots and "fell in love" with the industry. 

Speaking with Fordham Magazine, Trebek elaborated on his attraction to the field, saying, "It's great because it's very free form in that it allows you to venture out into so many different fields: design, food, drinks, music, graphic design, and even just talking to people." 

He also made some key connections from behind the bar. During his first job at the Library Hotel, he met his mentor and future business partner, Nodar Mosiashvili. He then worked at Willow Road where he met Chef Cassandra Rhodes. The trio would go on to open a restaurant in 2016. 

Emily Trebek loves flipping houses

Like father, like daughter. According to Emily Trebek's brother, Matthew Trebek, their father has always been a "handyman at heart" (per Fordham News), and his love for renovation was passed onto his Emily. In a post published on the Jeopardy! blog, Emily revealed how, after graduating from Loyola Marymount University in 2015, she decided to buy and flip her first house. Speaking about her inspiration, she noted, "When I was little, I wanted to be an architect. After graduating, I decided to get into real estate." She continued, "I always watched [my dad] fix things and wanted to learn."

Not surprisingly, Alex Trebek played an instrumental role in Emily's inaugural fixer-upper project. "As I was getting ready to flip my first house, I told my dad that I wanted to do it with him," she recalled. 

Agreeing, Trebek accompanied his daughter on her house hunt — "He would look in crawl spaces, in electricity panels, at water heaters; He was looking in all those places where a lot of hidden costs could be" — then got to work alongside her once the property was chosen. "I learned a lot from him," she gushed. "[I] saved a bunch of money with his advice and guidance. He basically demo'd [sic] the whole house." 

Matthew Trebek is building a hospitality empire

After graduating from Fordham College in 2013, Matthew Trebek knew exactly what he wanted to do: run his own restaurant. In May 2016, that dream became a reality when he, business partner Nodar Mosiashvili, and Chef Cassandra Rhodes opened Oso. Located in Hamilton Heights, Harlem, the 44-seat space serves Mexican street food, which Matthew and his team dreamt up during two research trips to Mexico City. 

Speaking about the restaurant's inspiration with Fordham Magazine, Matthew revealed, "The idea behind Oso was to take the street fare we loved [in Mexico City] and turn the dining experience into something communal rather than personalized." 

As of this writing, Matthew has his sights set on building a hospitality empire. In April 2019, he and Mosiashvili expanded their operation, opening two more venues: a take-out pizza place called Pizza By Lucille's and "a unique concept" called Lucille's. "It functions as a coffee shop from 7am to 4pm and then transitions into a cocktail bar," Matthew told People. What's more, the bar is also looking to "do a pop-up yoga class in the mornings, and is starting to welcome live music, hosting "a residence DJ once a week."

Emily Trebek is sure she has the World's Greatest Dad

In celebration of Father's Day in 2016, Emily shared a touching Instagram tribute to her dad, showcasing what a wonderful father Alex Trebek has always been.  

"When I was little, going to work with my dad was one of my favorite things to do," she wrote. "In our downtime on set, I loved to color and would often draw him several pictures and hang them all over his office as decoration. One morning, I drew him this 'World's Greatest Dad' sign," she continued. "He's kept it on the front of his office door ever since, even 18 years later. I'm so proud to be his daughter. He is the most caring and supportive father and truly is the World's Greatest Dad."

And it's not just Emily who thinks so. According to a family friend, Alex is "a devoted, proud father. He's a quirky dad — that's what his kids call him. He makes them laugh and is even-tempered at home." Alex hasn't been shy about how proud he is of his kids, telling People in 2019 in his characteristic parlance, "They're really sharp, and have done their due diligence in their respective endeavors." 

Matthew Trebek got his work ethic from his dad

If there's one trait that Matthew Trebek shares with his famous father, Alex Trebek, it's his unfaltering work ethic. Both Trebeks are very devoted (and very hands-on) when it comes to their careers. Case in point: When Matthew's inaugural restaurant, Oso, was being built, the Jeopardy! host was happy to lend a hand, "inspecting the space" (per Fordham News) and supervising the construction process (unofficially, we presume). As for Matthew, he still likes to do most things himself and is on-hand at Oso several nights each week. As he told People, being present and involved has been a key to his success. "It's about keeping everybody excited to continue to come in, make the food, and build towards something successful together," he said.

It's that sense of togetherness that actually helped Matthew choose the location for Oso, as well as his two subsequent ventures. Speaking about the appeal of Harlem, he told the outlet, "I think there is something to be said about being a part of the community, rather than just being another restaurant among so many restaurants." He added, "There's a very strong sense of community here." 

Nicky Trebek is a jack-of-all-trades

Before Alex Trebek tied the knot with Jean Currivan Trebek in 1990 and welcomed Matthew and Emily into the world, he was married to Elaine Trebek Kares from 1974 to 1981. According to Closer Weekly, when the couple said "I do," Elaine was already a mom to six-year-old Nicky, shown above with her brother, Matthew Trebek. Alex eventually adopted her, and gave her his last name. Although the marriage didn't last, Alex and Nicky's relationship did, and the pair remained close. In fact, Nicky went on to work right by her dad's side as a production coordinator on Jeopardy! 

Describing herself as a "creator, singer, songwriter, artist" on Instagram, she has also hosted infomercials, produced feature films, and modeled, according to IMDb. What's more, she designs clothes — ROCKIDOLclothing sells "custom, eclectic, one-of-a-kind deconstructed designs inspired by music, leather, silver and good ol' rock n roll" — and makes music. In 2003, Nicky released a self-titled album with six tracks, including her debut single, "Every Beat of Your Heart," which was a duet with Bill Champlin of Chicago.  

Matthew Trebek once nearly disappointed his dad

When Matthew first shared the news that he would be leaving his philosophy diploma behind in order to pursue a career in hospitality, his famous dad, Alex Trebek, was none too impressed. Speaking with People, Matthew revealed that the legendary game show host "was not on board at first." Justifying his father's apprehension, he elaborated, "He was just thinking of the success rate for restaurants, which at the time was something like 80% of them close within the first year." 

Luckily, that changed as soon as work began on Oso. "Once he came to the space and saw it all panning out and unfolding, and the way Nodar and I were working towards it, he really got on board," Matthew continued, joking, "Now he'll come in at noon and enjoy his double margarita!" 

What's more, Trebek appreciates that his son is still making good use of his education, even if he's doing so indirectly. As he told Fordham News, "My son's career at the University not only sharpened his intellect, but helped him develop as a leader and a well-rounded person."

Matthew Trebek received a $2 million gift from his dad

Talk about a great gift! In 2015, Alex Trebek bought Matthew Trebek a home down the street from Oso, eliminating the expense and stress of renting, and helping his son focus on his budding business. But the TV star didn't just purchase any home — he chose a property that set him back nearly $2 million.

As the New York Post confirmed, Trebek shelled out a cool $1.92 million for the Harlem townhouse located in the Strivers' Row Historic District. According to the Post, the home is a two-bedroom, three-bathroom duplex with a garden, but it's not as extravagant as it sounds. As Fordham Magazine learned, Matthew actually lives in the building with two colleagues. Namely, Oso's chef and the project manager who was in charge of building the restaurant. 

Matthew's favorite aspect of the property isn't its size, or even its proximity to work, but rather, its location. As he told People, Harlem is dear to his heart. "When I walk from home to work, you see people on the street and you say hi," he said. "I grew up with that in Los Angeles, and I think that definitely gets lost downtown."