Obituary of Jean-Pierre Trebot

September 21, 2023

Jean-Pierre Trebot, former Executive Director of the Friars Club, died on September 21st in Manhattan after a long illness. He was 83.

Born in Le-Havre, France, Mr. Trebot worked as a librarian on the SS France, of the famed French Line. When he came to Manhattan in the early 1960s, he worked in hospitality, initially at Air France’s private club and later the Pan Am Building’s Sky Club. In 1970 Mr. Trebot began working as the Assistant Executive Director at the Friars Club, becoming Executive Director in 1982. During his tenure he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the clubhouse, as well as produced their legendary Celebrity Roasts and Testimonial Dinners. He was also the Executive Director of the Friars Foundation, the charitable arm of the Friars Club. Content to remain a background, yet pivotal figure of the Club, Mr. Trebot was a calming presence among the often boisterous and flamboyant characters that comprised the Club’s unique membership, garnering laughs with their own brand of ribald humor.

Mr. Trebot brought with him an innate capacity to make people feel welcome. The long list of celebrities he worked with consists of Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Tom Cruise, Carol Burnett, Richard Pryor, John Travolta, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Barbara Walters, among many others who demanded his attention but earned his trust. Members counted on Mr. Trebot’s steady hand. One such critical moment in Friars history was their Roast of Hugh Hefner on Comedy Central, which was postponed due to 9/11. Mr. Trebot recognized the time for mourning but also compassionately acknowledged there was a time to move forward, which they did several weeks later with proceeds going towards 9/11 funds.

Retiring from the Friars Club in 2007, Mr. Trebot savored the silliness that often surrounded him, having once said, “I’ve attended book signings that have run the gamut from a classy opera great to a diet book party where waiters and waitresses wore nothing, but fruits and vegetables strategically placed on their bodies. I suppose to some it’s all incredibly insane but while you’re in the moment it’s absolutely wonderful. There is no other place like the Friars when it comes to the scope of variety one finds by just walking through our doors.”

A devoted husband and beloved brother and uncle, Mr. Trebot is predeceased by his parents Raymonde Louise Leone LeBris Trebot and Armand Delphin Trebot, and by his beloved wife Monique Troadec Trebot. He is survived by his brother Gerard Trebot, nieces Michèle Troadec Six, (son-in-law Bruno) Isabelle Troadec, and nephew Jean-Marc Troadec (wife Tamara), and his grandnieces and grandnephews Pierre, Finley, Victoire, Agnès, and Sky. Private services were held.

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