Pat Sajak Says Farewell To “Wheel of Fortune”

Longtime host Pat Sajak celebrated 41-derful seasons of Wheel of Fortune.

Sajak has been the host of Wheel of Fortune since 1981, when it aired on daytime network television.

In a career spanning five decades, he has earned multiple Daytime Emmy® Awards, a People’s Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2011, he was presented with a Daytime Emmy® Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sajak was born and raised in Chicago, where he broke into broadcasting as a newscaster and announcer at a small radio station.  He joined the Army in 1968 and was sent to Vietnam where he joined Armed Forces Radio in Saigon where he began his daily show shouting, “Good morning, Vietnam!”

Following his discharge, Sajak spent a year at another small radio station in Murray, Kentucky, and then moved to Nashville, where he spent five years at WSM-TV as a staff announcer, talk show host and weatherman. It was in that latter role where he was spotted by a talent scout for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles and, in 1977, he joined that station as its primary weatherman.

Four years later, he was chosen by Wheel of Fortune’s creator, Merv Griffin, to assume hosting duties on the NBC daytime edition of the show. “The nice thing about working in local TV in LA,” said Sajak, “is that decision makers are watching you every night.” Merv Griffin’s decision has paid off for more than 40 years.

With more than 20 million viewers per week, Wheel of Fortune continues to be one of the most successful shows in history.

Its 41st season in syndication, the game show has earned seven Emmy Awards including a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and Executive Produced by Bellamie Blackstone.

Co-host Vanna White had extended her contract for an additional two years, keeping her revealing letters at the iconic puzzleboard through the 2025-2026 season.

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