Everything we know about Pat Sajak’s stunning transformation

Pat Sajak’s career journey from a weatherman to an iconic game show host spans over four decades, marked by significant personal and professional milestones. Born and raised in Chicago, he developed a passion for broadcast television from a young age, inspired by personalities like Jack Paar. Despite no family ties to show business, Sajak was drawn to the industry and pursued it fervently.

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, where he worked as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio, Sajak transitioned to broadcasting. His career took off when he joined NBC’s local Nashville station as a weatherman in the 1970s, followed by a move to Los Angeles where he caught the attention of Merv Griffin, creator of “Wheel of Fortune.”

Advertisement

Sajak’s charismatic hosting style made him the perfect fit for “Wheel of Fortune,” where he succeeded Chuck Woolery in 1981. This role catapulted him to stardom, earning him a place in television history as the longest-serving host of a game show according to Guinness World Records. Alongside co-host Vanna White, Sajak entertained millions of viewers daily, becoming an integral part of American television culture.

Beyond his professional achievements, Sajak’s personal life has been notable. He married twice, with his second wife, Lesly Brown, whom he met in 1988, becoming a cornerstone of his life. Together, they raised two children, Patrick and Maggie, both of whom have been part of his journey on “Wheel of Fortune.”

In 2019, Sajak faced a health scare when he underwent emergency surgery for an intestinal blockage, temporarily stepping away from his hosting duties. His recovery was successful, allowing him to return to the show after a brief hiatus.

After 41 years at the helm of “Wheel of Fortune,” Sajak announced his retirement in 2023, culminating in an emotional final episode in 2024. His departure marked the end of an era but opened doors to new possibilities in his personal life, including potential time with grandchildren and exploring new opportunities, albeit selectively.

As Ryan Seacrest prepares to take over as the new host of “Wheel of Fortune” in September 2024, Sajak’s legacy remains deeply intertwined with the show’s enduring popularity and cultural impact. His contributions to television and the lives he touched throughout his career reflect a journey driven by passion, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to entertainment.