Pat Sajak

Pat Sajak

Infobox Person
name = Pat Sajak

caption = |
birth_date = birth date and age|1946|10|26
birth_place = Chicago, Illinois
death_date =
death_place =

Pat Sajak (born Patrick Leonard Sajdak on October 26, 1946)cite web |url= |title=Pat Sajak Biography |accessdate=2007-10-15 |publisher=TV Guide] is a television personality, former weatherman and a former talk show host, best known as the host of the American television game show, "Wheel of Fortune".


Early life

Sajak, son of a Polish American trucking 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 Chicago while working as a desk clerk at the Palmer House hotel.Fact|date=February 2008


Sajak won a contest on WLS radio's "Dick Biondi Show" 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 music during the day, and Sajak was the 3:00–5:00pm afternoon personality. Sajak moved out to Los Angeles in 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 Angeles was looking for a weatherman, and spotted Sajak working for NBC affiliate WSM-TV in Nashville. Sajak accepted KNBC's request for him to be a full-time weatherman for the station.

In 1981, 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 York newscaster in the 1982 spoof film "". When his late-night talk show on CBS premiered in January 1989, he left the daytime version of "Wheel," and was replaced by former San Diego Chargers place-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 Trebek switched jobs. Sajak hosted "Jeopardy!" and became a contestant along with the hostess Vanna White on "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 CBS from January 9, 1989April 13, 1990 that 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 Philbin on the syndicated "Live With Regis and Kelly". Sajak also hosted a program, "Pat Sajak Weekend", on the Fox News Channel in 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 College in 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 Fame has 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 Lives as Kevin Hathaway.

Personal life

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, Maryland and 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 WNAV 1430, which broadcasts Naval Academy events and other local items of interest, and Westminster, Maryland radio station WTTR, which plays Oldies. He donated $100,000 to the Hurricane Katrina Relief 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). [ [ Golden Baseball League Ownership Group (Biographies)] ] [ [ 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 Library and often posts political commentary on his official website. [ [ "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. [ [ NEWSMEAT ▷ Pat Sajak's Federal Campaign Contribution Report ] ]


External links

*imdb name |id=0756929 |name=Pat Sajak
* [ Pat Sajak's official website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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