One of the most amiable and best-loved game show hosts ever to grace the airwaves, Chicago native Pat Sajak first entered the world of broadcasting as a "guest teen deejay" on WLS Radio's Dick Biondi Show in 1965. Later, while Sajak was attending Columbia College in Chicago, an instructor informed him of an opening at a local radio station, and after an impressive audition for the program director, the eager student was hired as a newsman on the graveyard shift.
In 1968, Sajak dropped out of Columbia after only three years and joined the Army, entertaining soldiers stationed in Vietnam as a morning-show host on Armed Forces Radio. Upon returning stateside, Sajak had little luck finding radio and television work in Washington, D.C., and began working as a desk clerk at the downtown Madison Hotel. Later, when a friend informed him of an opening at a small radio station in southeastern Kentucky, Sajak traveled south and became the overnight disc jockey at the 250-watt station. It didn't take long for Sajak to realize that his career was going nowhere in Kentucky, however, and after about a year he relocated to Nashville and applied at virtually every radio and television station in town. Faced with rejection at every outlet, Sajak was once again relegated to working at a local hotel. But they say that persistence pays off, and in Sajak's case, that old adage proved true. Refusing to give in to rejection, the tireless broadcast hopeful continued to make his presence known to the local broadcasting outlets and was eventually hired into a local NBC affiliate.
While Sajak's easygoing versatility found him serving in a variety of capacities at WSM Channel 4, it was his talents as a weatherman that got him the most exposure -- and a few short years later he was scouted by KNBC in Los Angeles and decided to make the trek out west. In addition to continuing as a weatherman at KNBC, Sajak also hosted a weekend talk show for the station. In 1981, Sajak's smooth on-air persona caught the attention of producer Merv Griffin, who was seeking a replacement host for a daytime game show called the Wheel of Fortune. While he wasn't actually certain whether he was the right man for the job, Sajak figured the gig would only last for a year or two and dutifully accepted. Two Emmys, a People's Choice Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame later, Sajak was one of the best-loved hosts in game show history.
Outside of his Wheel of Fortune hosting duties, the noted conservative and avid sports fan also hosted the short-lived Pat Sajak Weekend on Fox News in 2003.
~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi