The son of a Polish American trucking foreman, Pat Sajak was born on 26 October 1946 in Chicago, Illinois with the hard-to-pronounce birth name of Patrick Leonard Sajdak. After graduating from Farragut High School in 1964, he enrolled at the Columbia College Chicago. To be able to finance his education and support himself, he worked as a desk clerk at Palmer House Hotel. Later, he got his first broadcasting job in 1967 as newsman doing the 12 midnight to 6 AM shift at WEDC, a local radio station. A year later, Pat enlisted in the United States Army and was deployed in Vietnam where he served as the morning disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio.
After his army discharge, Pat Sajak briefly worked the 3 to 5 PM slot at WSM in Nashville. He moved to Los Angeles towards the end of the 1970s and worked as a clerk in different hotels while keeping an eye for job postings where he could continue his interrupted broadcasting career. The opening finally came in 1977 when KNBC TV hired him as its full-time weatherman and a week-end talk show host.
The big break came for Pat Sajak in 1981 when “Wheel of Fortune” creator, Merv Griffin, asked him to take over Chuck Woolery as host of the then daytime NBC game show in 1981, a job that he held up to the syndicated evening version of the show, which garnered top ratings from 1983 up to the time he left it to host his late-night talk show on CBS in 1989. Pat has, since then, frequently pitched in as guest host for CNN’s “Larry King Live” and as a regular substitute host on the syndicated “Live with Regis and Kelly” show. In 2003, he hosted his “Pat Sajak Weekend on the Fox News Channel as well as a syndicated radio sports talk show called “The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour.”
During his broadcasting career, Pat Sajak has received a “People’s Choice Award,” 3 Emmys and a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From his broadcasting career, he has expanded to investments in the Golden Baseball League, acquisition of a music publishing company and a record label, a radio station in Maryland and, in association with Sony Pictures, a TV production company. In addition, Pat has performed with the Dallas, Pacific and Florida Symphony Orchestras as a guest conductor and serves in the American Cinema Foundation and Claremont Institute boards.
Pat Sajak supports conservative political causes and has donated over $17,000 to Republican committees and candidates. In addition, he wrote articles for “Human Events,” a magazine that conforms to his own conservative views.