In entertainment, game shows are among the plethora of options available for Americans. The programming has been a staple of American television for decades with several new options created to cater to an ever-growing class of American viewers. One of these game shows is Wheel of Fortune, currently hosted on NBC by Pat Sajak.
Pat Sajak is a veteran of television with a career that has spanned over 50 years. Currently, he holds the record for the longest-running host of a game show, surpassing television icon and legend, Bob Barker. His career has spanned television and film, both as himself and as an actor.
There is a lot to learn from a fulfilling life like Pat Sajak’s and we uncover a few of them below.
Who is Pat Sajak?
Pat Sajak was born as Patrick Leonard Sajdak on the 26th of October, 1946 to Leonard Anthony Sajdak and Joyce Helen in Chicago to a father who was a factory worker. Unfortunately, Pat Sajak never got to spend a lot of time with his father as he died while he was young.
This led to Pat getting raised by Walter Backal, whom his mother married after his father’s death. His childhood and teenage days saw him spend time at Farragut High School in 1964 and then Columbia College in Chicago.
Before he became known as the popular host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak spent some time in the military, serving as a disc jockey during the Vietnam War.
Is He Married, Who are The Family Members?
Pat Sajak has been married twice. His first marriage was to Sherrill Sajak in 1979; the marriage did not last very long and they got divorced in 1986. His second marriage was to Lesly Brown-Sajak, who is a photographer.
His marriage with Lesly, which began in 1989 has produced two children. Their first child is a son, Patrick Michael James Sajak. He was given birth to on the 22nd of September, 1990.
They gave birth to their second child, Maggie Marie Sajak, on the 5th of January, 1995. Maggie has followed in the footsteps of her father as an entertainer and has chosen singing as her preferred path. She is a country singer and has been compared to icons like Jewel and Michelle Branch.
The family has two houses, one in Severna Park, Maryland which is their primary residence and another in Los Angeles, California.
Is He Gay?
It is quite common for the media to speculate about the sexuality of celebrities; but throughout his career, the game show host has maintained heterosexual relationships. As further confirmation of his sexual orientation, he once jokingly tweeted about his sexual orientation, coming out as a straight man.
His introduction to radio and broadcasting began when he was a teenager. Having won a contest on his local radio station, WLS radio, to be a guest teen deejay. He later joined WEDC, another local radio station as a newsman. It was while he worked for WEDC that he joined the US Army.
In the early days of his career, Pat Sajak spent a majority of it as a deejay for various radio stations until he got his first onscreen role as a voiceover artist and as a news anchor for WSMV. He also worked as a weatherman for the station, kickstarting a lifetime on screen for Pat Sajak.
He joined KNBC in Los Angeles and worked as a weatherman for the station until 1983 when he joined NBC as the host of the game show, Wheel of Fortune, which at the time was called Wheel. He hosted the daytime and late-night version of the show for the first six years with the TV Network before he transitioned fully into the late-night version which he has continued to host ever since. In the 2018/2019 season of the show, Pat Sajak recorded his 36th season as the host of Wheel of Fortune and surpassed Bob Barker, another game show legend, as the longest-running host of a game show.
Outside of game shows, he has starred in films like Airplane II: The Sequel and he also hosted his own late-night talk show. Pat Sajak is also a writer, regularly writing for publications like National Review Online and Ricohet.com.
With over 50 years in television and with accomplishments like being the longest-running host of a game show, Pat Sajak has been able to build considerable net worth over the course of his career. He is believed to be worth $65 million. Other sources of income apart from his hosting career is the ownership of a radio station, WNAV, in Maryland.