Pat Sajak

From Academic Kids

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Pat Sajak appears on a 1980s episode of Wheel of Fortune rerunning on the Game Show Network

Pat Sajak (born Patrick Sajdak, October 26, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois) is the current host of the Wheel of Fortune game show.

Early life

Sajak was born and raised in Chicago, son of a Polish-American trucking foreman. During his elementary years, he attended Goethe Elementary School and Gary Elementary School. As he matured, he graduated from elementary school and went on to Farragut High School and Columbia College of Chicago.


Sajak won a random contest on WLS radio's Dick Biondi Show to be a guest "teen deejay". While at Columbia College, his broadcasting instructor told him that a local radio station (WEDC) was looking for a newsman. He 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. Later in 1977, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles was looking for a weatherman, and spotted Sajak in Nashville who accepted their request for him to be a full-time weatherman for the station.

Finally, in 1981, Merv Griffin, the designer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, called in and asked if Sajak would be interested in taking over as host of Wheel of Fortune from Chuck Woolery. Sajak accepted, and still hosts the show to date. In 1997, as part of an April Fool's joke, Sajak hosted an episode of Jeopardy! and became a contestant (along with cohost Vanna White) on Wheel of Fortune, which was being hosted by Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek on that day.

Sajak hosted a late-night talk show on CBS in 1989 that failed miserably (a typical fate for talk shows up against Johnny Carson). He has, however, been a frequent guest host for CNN's Larry King Live when King is unable to attend.

Sajak is an External Director of conservative publishing house Regnery, and is on the Board of Trustees at Hillsdale College, and also has written for Human Events and served on the Board of Directors for the Claremont Institute.

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.

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