- Pat Sajak
Pat Sajak (born Patrick Leonard Sajdak on
October 26, 1946)cite web |url=http://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/pat-sajak/195266 |title=Pat Sajak Biography |accessdate=2007-10-15 |publisher=TV Guide] is a television personality, former weatherman and a former talk showhost, best known as the host of the American television game show, "Wheel of Fortune".
Sajak, son of a
Polish Americantrucking foreman, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Joyce, remarried to Walter Backal. During his youth, he attended Goethe Elementary School, as well as Gary Elementary School. He graduated from Farragut High School in 1964 and then went on to Columbia College Chicagowhile working as a desk clerk at the Palmer Househotel.Fact|date=February 2008
Sajak won a contest on WLS radio's "
Dick BiondiShow" to be a guest "teen deejay". While at Columbia College Chicago, his broadcasting instructor Al Parker told him that a local radio station ( WEDC) was looking for a newsman. Sajak applied for the job and was hired to work from midnight to 6:00 AM. In 1968, Sajak joined the U.S. Army, and was sent to Vietnam, where he deejayed on Armed Forces Radio. In 1975, he began DJ'ing at 50,000-watt WSM in Nashville; at the time WSM was playing pop musicduring the day, and Sajak was the 3:00–5:00pm afternoon personality. Sajak moved out to Los Angelesin the late 1970s to find work, and answered phones as a clerk at numerous hotels while job hunting. Later, in 1977, KNBC-TV in Los Angeleswas looking for a weatherman, and spotted Sajak working for NBCaffiliate WSM-TV in Nashville. Sajak accepted KNBC's request for him to be a full-time weatherman for the station.
Merv Griffin, creator of " Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune," asked Sajak — already known to local audiences for his jocular television persona — if he would be interested in taking over the duties as emcee of "Wheel of Fortune" from Chuck Woolery. Sajak, who had already hosted a few game show pilots, accepted the position. He hosted both the daytime (NBC) and syndicated evening versions of "Wheel" from 1983 to 1989, and continues to host the latter version.
Sajak had a small role as a
Buffalo, New Yorknewscaster in the 1982 spoof film "". When his late-night talk show on CBSpremiered in January 1989, he left the daytime version of "Wheel," and was replaced by former San Diego Chargersplace-kicker Rolf Benirschke. Pat appeared on Super Password several times from 1984–1989, as well as Password Plus in 1981, shortly after taking on hosting duties on Wheel of Fortune.
In 1997, as part of an April Fool's joke, Sajak and
Alex Trebekswitched jobs. Sajak hosted "Jeopardy!" and became a contestant along with the hostess Vanna Whiteon "Wheel of Fortune", which Trebek hosted. Sajak's wife Lesly took White's place on the letter board.
Sajak hosted a late-night talk show on
CBSfrom January 9, 1989– April 13, 1990that failed to make ratings headway against Johnny Carson. He has since been a frequent guest host for CNN's " Larry King Live" when King himself was unable to attend. Sajak is also a regular substitute host for Regis Philbinon the syndicated " Live With Regis and Kelly". Sajak also hosted a program, "Pat Sajak Weekend", on the Fox News Channelin 2003. Sajak also currently hosts "The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour", a syndicated radio sports talk show.
Sajak is an External Director of conservative publishing house Eagle Publishing and is on the Board of Trustees at
Hillsdale Collegein southern Michigan. He has written for " Human Events" and served on the Board of Directors for the Claremont Institute.
Sajak once commented on "Wheel of Fortune" that his star on the
Hollywood Walk of Famehas the wrong emblem. His is a movie camera when it should be a TV set. He quipped on the show that "someone should pry it off and sell it on eBay- it's a collectible!" The star has since been corrected.
In 1983, Sajak appeared on NBC's soap opera
Days of Our Livesas Kevin Hathaway.
Sajak is married to his second wife, Lesly Brown, and has a son named Patrick and a daughter, Maggie. The couple splits time between
Severna Park, Marylandand Manhattan Beach, California.
One of Sajak's philanthropies is an expansion of the Anne Arundel Medical Center in
Annapolis, Maryland; it is named the Sajak Pavilion in honor of his donations. He is also part-owner of Annapolis radio station WNAV1430, which broadcasts Naval Academyevents and other local items of interest, and Westminster, Marylandradio station WTTR, which plays Oldies. He donated $100,000 to the Hurricane KatrinaRelief Fund.
In 2005, Sajak, a huge baseball fan, became an investor in the
Golden Baseball League, a professional, independent baseball league with teams in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah (United States) and Alberta (Canada). [ [http://www.goldenbaseball.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=126 Golden Baseball League Ownership Group (Biographies)] ] [ [http://www.mikesummers.org/gblmedford/news/columns_08282008.htm Vanna gives us letters, but Sajak gives us baseball!] (GBL Medford website, August 28, 2008)] Pat is also a hockey fan and is a season ticket holder of the Washington Capitals.Fact|date=June 2008
He was a major donor to the
Ronald Reagan Presidential Libraryand often posts political commentary on his official website. [ [http://www.patsajak.com/news_archive.php?view=says "Sajak Says..." archive] . Pat Sajak. Retrieved on June 16, 2007.] According to public records, Sajak has donated over $17,000 to candidates and election committees; all are associated with the Republican Party. [ [http://www.newsmeat.com/celebrity_political_donations/Pat_Sajak.php NEWSMEAT ▷ Pat Sajak's Federal Campaign Contribution Report ] ]
*imdb name |id=0756929 |name=Pat Sajak
* [http://www.patsajak.com Pat Sajak's official website]
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