Patrick Leonard Sajdak, born on October 26th, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois —best known as Pat Sajak professionally— is an American television personality and a game show host. Before becoming a famous TV show host, Sajak started out as a DJ. He attended Columbia College Chicago from 1964 to 1968 and, during this time he worked at a local radio station, WEDC, on the night shift. In 1968, Sajak joined the U.S., where he deejayed on the Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War. He served in Vietnam until 1969.
Upon his return to the U.S., Sajak worked as a DJ for a year for a Murray, Kentucky radio station and then at WSM radio channel in Nashville in the early 1970s. He made the jump onto the small screen when the WSM’s television sister station, WSM-TV, hired him as a voiceover artist. He also acted as anchor for the five-minute newscasts on NBC’s Today Show. Sajak later became the weekend and substitute weatherman. In 1977, Sajak was spotted by the KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, who were looking for a weather reporter, and signed him on to become their full-time reporter for the west coast television station.
In 1981, fellow television host Merv Griffin asked Sajak if he would host the popular TV game show, Wheel of Fortune, replacing former and original host Chuck Woolery. Sajak agreed to become host, having already had experience in hosting two pilot episodes of game shows Press Your Luck and Puzzlers, the previous year. By accepting this position, Sajak became the longest-running host of any game show, and was entered into the Guinness World Records as such in 2019. From 1983 to 1989, Sajak hosted the daytime (NBC) and syndicated evening versions of the show, and he continues to host the second one.
Aside from hosting Wheel of Fortune, Sajak has appeared on numerous game shows throughout the ‘80s, most notably Password, Password Plus, Dream House, Just Men!, and Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour. In 1989, he was the host of his own late-night talk show, The Pat Sajak Show, which was on the air for thirteen months. Sajak became guest host for CNN’s Larry King Live and the Live with Regis and Kelly Show, of which he ended up being the substitute host for Regis on a regular basis. In 2003, he hosted the Pat Sajak Weekend on Fox News, and hosted the sports talk show The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour for four years, until it stopped in 2006.
Sajak has not only done host show duties on TV, but has also appeared on several popular television shows, both as himself or other people. He can be seen on Sesame Street, The King of Queens, Days of Our Lives, Saturday Night Live, The Commish and Brickleberry. In 2010, Sajak began writing for the conservative editorial magazine National Review Online, and has contributed to the political website Ricochet.com. Since 2020, Sajak acts as Consulting Producer on Wheel of Fortune, and co-hosts with Vanna White the Celebrity Wheel of Fortune on ABC, beginning in 2021.