Time to brush up on my 19th Century English Literature and Potent Potables for Jeopardy’s annual online test. Maybe 2017’s the year I’ll finally be on Merv Griffin’s long-running ABC trivia staple.
Speaking of Jeopardy!, its longtime host, Alex Trebek, 79, has raked in quite a bit of money through the years, and the Canadian-born TV personality is worth some $50 million by one estimate. Trebek and his wife Jean serve as co-presidents of the Trebek Family Foundation, which they established at the start of the decade.
Unsurprisingly, one interest of the Trebek family in their giving is education. Trebek steadily supports his north of the border alma mater, University of Ottawa. Last year, the family gave a $5 million donation to the school to create the Forum for Dialogue, a new platform to discuss “provocative, timely and constructive ideas on issues that matter to Canadians.” Through the years, Trebek has given UOttawa at least $7.5 million.
Trebek has dual citizenship and back stateside the Trebeks have supported Trebek son’s school, Fordham University in New York. Trebek endowed a $1 million scholarship fund at the school. Other grantees have included American Film Institute in Los Angeles (Trebek has hosted its Hollywood trivia event ), Taft College Foundation, and Stephens College, where the family funded an endowed chair in screenwriting. Trebek and Jean, by the way, are friends of program director and writer Ken LaZebnik.
The family also support arts and cultural organizations like Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, The Actors Fund of America, and The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Additionally, Trebek has been long involved with United Service Organizations and has a strong interest in WWII history.
The Trebek Family Foundation keeps a low profile and has a minimal web presence, but expect more money to move through the charity in the coming years. Much of the family's initial giving through their charity has tracked with personal ties.
Trebek has said that that forming the foundation “forced a change” in him. “Before I’d get tons and tons of requests from different charities… Once you form a charitable foundation it becomes easier to give. It’s brought about a nice change.”
For a complete look at this funder, read our Glitzy Giving profile linked below.
Related: Alex and Jean Trebek