Pat Sajak from 'Wheel of Fortune' Is a Loving Husband and Dad of Two Grown-Up Kids — Meet His Family
The actor and game show host has fronted the syndicated daytime series from 1981 to the present with great success, apart from many appearances in the media, but what do we know about his personal life?
Sajak married for the first time to Sherrill James in 1979, and while he felt confident about her being the love of his life, the relationship deteriorated over lack of quality time and conflicting personalities until they divorced in 1986.
Life gave the TV star a second opportunity and he didn’t let it pass, starting a new family with his second wife Lesly Brown. The two married in 1989 and have two children: son Patrick, born in 1990, and daughter Maggie, born in 1995.
After a life-threatening illness forced him into emergency surgery last month, "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak is back in the studio. https://t.co/8GvIxRGgPT— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 22, 2019
CURRENT WIFE LESLY BROWN
Sajak’s wife of 30 years is a former Playboy model, 19 years younger than the game show host. Aside from her modeling career, Brown graduated from the University of Maryland, earning a degree in television production.
Sajak and Brown first met at the opening of a restaurant in California in 1988, the same year when Brown was featured in Playboy’s magazine “Women of Washington” special.
After a brief period of dating, the couple tied the knot in October 1989 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Annapolis, Maryland, in an intimate ceremony with about 150 guests, including Sajak’s longtime TV partner Vanna White.
“I finally have a boy in the family. I gave him a little car for Christmas and next year I am going to give him an electric train. He has gorgeous teeth,” Lesly’s father Michael joked about his son-in-law during the celebration.
SON PATRICK MICHAEL JAMES
“Patrick Jr.” is an extremely private person who has no known presence on social media.
He also refrains from joining his famous father in any high-profile appearances but has occasionally been photographed with him at sports events.
Born on September 22, 1990, Patrick has grown up to become a very handsome young man with a considerable resemblance to the show host.
As of January 2019, both him and his better-known younger sister reportedly still live at the family home in Severna Park, Maryland, as neither one of them has married or had children.
As a curiosity, Patrick had a sort of an “appearance” as an animated character in Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats.” In the 1994 episode “Chuckie is Rich,” his father was featured as a character with his real voice, and on the brief segment his three-year-old son “accompanied” him.
Too bad Jerry Meals photo bombed us. Thanks to Pat Sajak and son Patrick for stopping by. pic.twitter.com/ELCW5fKMQ0— Joe Maddon (@MaddHalos) March 22, 2014
Pat's daughter is much more of a public person than her older brother. In fact, she is pursuing a career in the entertainment business as an aspiring country music singer and multi-instrumentalist.
Born in 1995, Maggie showed an interest in music from an early age, picking up the guitar when she was 12.
Despite being a performer that has released three singles, she is pretty much absent from social media just like her brother, but she has a personal website to promote her music.
The site has links to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts but they all seem to have been taken down for some reason. Contrary to her brother, Maggie often attends red carpet events with their father.
OTHER LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT PAT SAJAK
Sajak’s beginnings in broadcasting were on the radio in his hometown, Chicago, during the 1960s.
He was so eager to get started in the business that he didn’t doubt when offered a job at a Spanish-speaking radio station even though he didn’t speak the language.
When he enlisted in the Army in 1968 he was deployed to Saigon, where he spent 18 months behind the microphones of the armed forces radio, speaking to the troops.
Back in the US, his military service took him to a base in Texas, and eventually to the Pentagon, where he worked running slide projectors for military officials.
2019 HEALTH SCARE
In November 2019, Pat scared his fans after undergoing emergency surgery for a blocked intestine. The news was announced by the "Wheel of Fortune" Twitter account.
But by December, Sajak was back into the studio to keep taping episodes of his famous show.
"I'm feelin' great. I've actually felt ridiculously good for several weeks. I've been back in the studio actually, doing shows. Even spinning the wheel and, you know, nothing has popped. So I think it's OK."
-Pat Sajak, Good Morning America, December 20, 2019.
Pat Sajak's daughter got letter-turning lessons from Vanna White before her 'Wheel of Fortune' appearance https://t.co/IfKTtNCJu2— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 9, 2020
Even if Sajak is recovering and back on the game, he has needed some help to keep the show going when he is not able to host it, and in January, Vanna White took his place while his daughter Maggie served as letter-turner.
"I'm walking a little better now, and hopefully I'm a little more eloquent than last time," Maggie joked, referencing the last time she had appeared on the show as a one-year-old.