The Truth About Alex Trebek's Wife

If you're playing Jeopardy and the clue is "the woman Alex Trebek has been married to for nearly 30 years," the correct response would be: "Who is Jean Currivan Trebek?" There's plenty to learn about Jean, ranging from her own career to her hobbies to her unwavering support of Alex. Jean has been by her husband's side through it all, including his recent cancer battle

In fact, the only thing Alex regrets is that he didn't meet the love of his life sooner. "I'm pretty satisfied with my life, but my wife, Jean, and I have been together almost 29 years, and I was thinking about President Bush when he died, and all the comments about ... how he and his wife had been together 73 years. I thought, oh my gosh ... if I'd just met Jean in my 20s, we could have had a longer life together," he told People

It sounds like they're making the most of every moment, and while Jean is his No. 1 supporter, Jean is also very much her own person. Let's dive in and learn all about this fascinating woman. 

Alex Trebek's proposal caught Jean off-guard — in the best way

Alex Trebek and Jean Currivan Trebek first crossed paths at a party in 1988, and then followed that up with a dinner date at his home. According to People, Jean was nervous to date the Jeopardy host, admitting, "I was afraid I'd mispronounce my own name! But Alex is really down to earth. He's much more casual than he is on the show." In her words: "It's Alex's job to be astute, perfect and articulate on the air. But he certainly doesn't want to be that way at home. People think he goes to bed in a suit." (As funny as that is to imagine, Jean clarified he does not do that last part.)

Still, that doesn't mean Jeopardy isn't a big part of his life. At the couple's 1990 wedding, instead of a typical "I do," Alex responded with a reference to the show: "The answer is... yes." 

Speaking of questions, when Alex popped the question on Jean's birthday in 1989, she had trouble formulating any kind of answer. "I went all dumb. I think I said, 'What?'" she recalled to People. The engagement ring may have had something to do with it. Jean said the 16-carat sapphire "took my breath away." 

Jean Currivan Trebek is a proud mom

Proud parents Alex and Jean Currivan Trebek have two children together: Matthew, who was born in 1990, and Emily, who was born in '93. (Before Jean, Alex was married to Elaine Callei from 1974 to 1981, and he adopted her daughter, Nicky.) Jean discussed their kids children with People in early 2019: "They're both very compassionate, sensitive people. They're really the best of Alex and I."

Matthew reportedly owns a Mexican restaurant in Harlem named Oso. The eatery has a four-star rating on Yelp. Jean owns a stake in the venture and believes the business is a good fit for her son. She told Edible Manhattan that he's been entertaining others since he was just a kid. "Matthew really enjoyed having friends over — being sort of a host to his guy friends when they came home after school," she said. "I love the restaurant and I tell all my friends." Alex is a fan too, even if he feels like a fish out of water in his son's trendy spot. "I don't necessarily fit in that comfortably with what's going on at a popular young restaurant...but that's okay — hey, I had my time when I was young and enjoyed being part of a lively environment," he said. 

Access reported that daughter Emily works in real estate. According to her company's website, she spends her free time "looking for unique furniture pieces and honing her cooking skills."

The Trebeks don't let their age gap bother them

Yes, there's about a 24-year age gap between Alex and Jean Currivan Trebek — but no, it doesn't bother them ... at least not anymore. "At first it worried me. But then I thought, 'The hell with it. We'll make it work,'" Alex admitted to People in 1990. In the same interview, Jean also acknowledged that she understood why Alex might have felt cautious to date someone younger (She was 26 when they got married; he was nearly 50.) "I didn't try to push him," she said. "We just took it one day at a time." 

After three decades together, it's clear that strategy has worked for them. In another interview with People in January 2019, romantically noted that he wished he'd met his wife earlier in life, then followed it up with a joke about their age gap. "I guess if I'd met her when I was in my 20s she wouldn't have been born yet," he quipped. 

Alex Trebek's wife is a professional healer

Jean Currivan Trebek's career is focused on all things spiritual. According to People, she's a professional sound healer, which means she helps others using her voice and crystal bowls. "The human voice has so much power and healing," the 54-year-old told SurvivorNet. "It's like how when a mother sings a lullaby to her baby, it's the intention in her voice that is calming the baby." Jean also knows the healing technique of Reiki and participates in a movement known as Religious Science. 

Jean has relied on her faith during Alex's ongoing cancer battle. "It comes from a place of love, because I want to uplift him ... when I keep my own self buoyed and enjoying my life, I can actually share that with him," she told SurvivorNet. "He can look at me and have a sense of 'life is beautiful; my wife is doing something good.'"

Jean Currivan Trebek co-founded a 'feel good' website

As if her résumé wasn't impressive enough already, Jean Currivan Trebek co-founded a website called insidewink, which is described as "a place to feel good, a place to share the good and laugh and exhale." Essentially, it's a place to read a whole bunch of uplifting stories. Per Jean's bio on the site, she "enjoys taking long walks, watching movies, and traveling. She is very grateful for her family, Willy the dog, friends and good coffee." 

On the site, Jean writes about everything from family traditions to recipes (ranging from "fancy" oatmeal cookies to zucchini lasagna) to the most important men in her life. In June 2019, she wrote about Alex. "One of the many qualities that I admire about my husband is his ingeniousness. Alex loves a good challenge and he's remarkable at thinking outside the box to accomplish his goal," she said. "Watching Alex reminds me that I am more capable than I think and that when there's a will there's a way." That's high praise, and from what he's said about her, the Jeopardy host is clearly equally in awe of his wife.