PAT SAJAK Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Name: Pat Sajak                                                                       
Born: 26 October 1946 Chicago, Illinois                                               
Pat Sajak (born Patrick Leonard Sajdak on October 26, 1946), is a television           
personality and a former talk show host, best known as the host of the American       
television game show, Wheel of Fortune.                                               
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 Farragut High School in 1964 and then went on to Columbia College           
Chicago while working as a desk clerk at the famed Palmer House hotel.                 
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. He also had a small role as a Buffalo,     
New York newscaster in the 1982 spoof film Airplane II: The Sequel.                   
In 1981, Merv Griffin, creator of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, asked Sajak if       
he would be interested in taking over the duties as host of Wheel of Fortune           
from Chuck Woolery. Sajak, who already had hosted a few game show pilots,             
accepted the position. From 1983 to 1989, Sajak hosted both the daytime (NBC)         
and evening(syndicated) versions of Wheel of Fortune. He still hosts the               
syndicated evening version of the show. 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.                   
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, 1989 - April 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 also is an External Director of conservative publishing house Eagle             
Publishing and is on the Board of Trustees at Hillsdale College in southern           
Michigan. He also 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 emblem 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 then been corrected.