Pat Sajak is celebrating his 77th birthday! The popular game show host was destined for a life in front of the camera. After getting his start as a radio personality, Sajak was able to expand his audience, going on to become one of the most recognized faces, and names, in television history. In June, Sajak announced he was exiting the show. "Well, the time has come," Sajak wrote in a statement. "I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)." It has since been announced that Ryan Seacrest will take over. Here is a look back at Sajak's journey from small-town disc jockey to "Wheel of Fortune." 'WHEEL OF FORTUNE' FANS BEG PAT SAJAK'S DAUGHTER MAGGIE TO HOST SHOW WITH VANNA WHITE APP USERS CLICK HERE FOR POST During the Vietnam War, Sajak was an Army specialist 5th class who had been trained as a clerk typist. After initially being sent overseas as a finance clerk, Sajak requested a transfer and was sent to Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, to act as a disc jockey. "I used to feel a bit guilty about my relatively ‘soft’ duty," Sajak wrote for the USO website in June 2014. "But I always felt a little better when I met guys who came into town from the field and thanked us for bringing them a little bit of home. I always thought it was strange that they should be thanking me, given what so many of them were going through on a daily basis. But they reminded me of the importance of providing entertainment to those who serve." In his essay on the USO website, Sajak referred to his time in the military as, "among those things in my life of which I’m most proud." Following his return from the war, Sajak ended up working as a disc jockey at WSM in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the station's television announcer, and was the station's first pick for the new weekend weatherman. While there, he developed a reputation for being a jokester. "On Saturday nights, after we did the news and weather, he would be the booth announcer," Sajak's co-worker former WSMV4 Sports Director Rudy Kalis said in June. "Well, he got so tired of doing it, because he would have to be here until midnight, that he would sit in his seat and go further and further and further (down). So, all of the sudden, all you saw was the top of his head, and he said the reason he did that was just to see if management was watching." Soon enough, he was hired by KNBC and was brought on as one of their weathermen on the West Coast. While working on the West Coast, he caught the eye of "Wheel of Fortune" creator, Merv Griffin, who was looking for a new host. Sajak made his hosting debut on Dec. 23, 1981, and a year later, Vanna White made her debut, and the iconic 40-year partnership was born. Sajak's star continued to rise during his time hosting the show, as he went on to co-host the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 1984 to 1986 and even got his own talk show, "The Pat Sajak Show," in 1989. ‘WHEEL OF FORTUNE’ HOST PAT SAJAK RETIRES: ALL THE TIMES HE SHOCKED VIEWERS In September 2022, Sajak surpassed Bob Barker, former host of "Price is Right," as the longest-running host of any game show, having helmed the show for 40 years. He announced in June 2023 that he was retiring, and the upcoming season of the game show would be his last time hosting. In addition to setting this record, he has also been nominated for 23 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning three of them, as well as earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Daytime Emmy Awards. In response to Sajak's exit news, White posted, "When we started @WheelofFortune who could have imagined we’d still be at it 41 seasons later? I couldn’t be happier to have shared the stage with you for all these years with one more to come. Cheers to you, @patsajak!" Sajak was married to his first wife Sherrill Sajak from 1979 to 1986. Soon after his divorce, Sajak met and fell in love with Lesly Brown, who he married in 1989. The two quickly started a family, welcoming their son Patrick in 1990 and their daughter Maggie in 1995. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER The TV host is proud of both his children, announcing during an episode of "Wheel of Fortune" that he "couldn't be prouder" of his son after he completed medical school and officially became a doctor. Meanwhile, Maggie graduated from law school in May. APP USERS CLICK HERE FOR POST In 2021, Maggie signed on as a social correspondent for "Wheel of Fortune." As a correspondent, Maggie shares exclusive behind-the-scenes content, including interviews with everyone, from the contestants and the crew. She also manages the show's various social media accounts. Maggie has even appeared on the show in front of the camera. She acted as a "special letter toucher" in 2020, filling in for White when she was hosting the show in Pat's absence. She then returned in 2023 for an episode of "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune," filling in for White as she played the game. When introducing Maggie during the "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune" episode, Pat became emotional, even telling his daughter "I think I’m going to cry," as she walked out onto the stage, to which she replied, "me, too!"
26 Ekim 2023 - 12:10
'Wheel of Fortune' legend Pat Sajak turns 77: From Army disc jockey to setting TV records
Pat Sajak started his career as a disc jockey in the Army during the Vietnam War. In 1981, he became the host of "Wheel of Fortune." The longtime host is turning 77.
26 Ekim 2023 - 12:10