There are not many more people on American television who are more famous than Pat Sajak, a former weatherman who became the longest presenter of an American game show. Sajak has received three Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding game show hosts (1993, 1997, 1998) out of a total of fifteen nominations and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Daytime Emmy Awards. For more than 38 years Sajak has hosted Merv Griffin’s Wheel of Fortune game show, which is also the longest-running syndicated game show in the United States.
How Pat Sajak Started His Television Career
Pat Sajak has often spoken about how he grew up in poverty. He was born on October 26, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of a Polish father named Leonard Anthony Sajdak, who worked as a factory worker, and a mother named Joyce Helen.
Sajak’s father died when he was young, and so his mother remarried. When he finished his education, the union did not change his life much; first at Farragut High School before enrolling at Columbia College Chicago. He found work as a receptionist at the Palmer House Hotel and as a midnight reporter for a local radio station to make a living at college.
After graduating, Pat Sajak enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968 and was then sent to Vietnam where he served as a disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio. After returning from the Vietnam War, he found work as a DJ for several radio stations across America in the 1970s. He soon switched to television after being hired by WSM-TV in Nashville, first as a dubbing artist and then as a weekend and replacement weatherman.
In 1977, Sajak caught the attention of the Los Angeles-based television station KNBC-TV, who offered him the position of the full-time weatherman, which he accepted. He held this position for about four years before media mogul Merv Griffin offered him the position of host of Wheel of Fortune, a move that met with fierce resistance from then NBC President and CEO Fred Silverman. The latter was later removed from the office and gave Sajak space for his first appearance on the game show on 28 December 1981.
Since then, Pat Sajak has held the role and has later hosted several other shows on television as well as several guest roles in movies. In 2019, he surpassed Bob Barker, who hosted Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007, as the longest host of a game show in America. His current contract as host of Wheel of Fortune expires in 2022.
What We Know About His Love Life and Sexuality
Some people believed that Pat Sajak was gay because quite a few news and gossip websites carried click-bait headlines like “Sajak is finally coming out”; a phrase from a pop culture often used when a celebrity decides to reveal to the world that he or she is gay.
This happened in 2014 when the TV personality actually turned out to be heterosexual. He did so via a tweet that was interpreted by leftist media platforms as a form of mockery of the gay community.
An important indication that Pat Sajak is far from being gay is the fact that he is currently living in a second marriage. His first marriage, which lasted from 1979 to 1986, was with a woman identified as Sherrill Sajak. Several years later, the popular television personality married his current wife Lesly Brown Sajak, a photographer and former model.
Mrs. Sajak, a former Miss Georgetown and graduate of the University of Maryland in Television Production were born in Gambrills, Maryland, on April 21, 1965. The two are said to have first met in 1988 in a sports bar in Irvine, California. The encounter was described as anything but love at first sight, as the two were not initially attracted to each other. However, after a period of maintaining a friendship, they began to develop strong feelings for each other and soon began dating.
After months of dating, Sajak got down on his knees while holding a three-carat marquise-shaped diamond ring to profess his undying love for Lesly before asking her to spend the rest of her life with him. On December 31, 1989, the couple finally sealed their union.
Does Pat Sajak Have Any Children?
What caused a rift between Sajak and his first wife is not publicly known, but their union is known not to have produced children. Since his second marriage, however, he has become the father of two children; Patrick Michael James Sajak (born September 22, 1990) and Maggie Marie Sajak (born January 5, 1995).
While not much is known about his son Patrick, Maggie has had a career in show business. She is a country singer who is best known for her first single “First Kiss”.