Wheel of Fortune - About The Show

Show History

We've had some really incredible moments over the past 37-plus years, on stage and off. Explore the show’s history, from our early days as a daytime show in the ‘70s to becoming the most successful syndicated show on TV.

Show Bios

  • Pat Sajak
    Pat SajakHost
  • Vanna White
    Vanna WhiteHost
  • Harry Friedman
    Harry FriedmanExecutive Producer
  • Jim Thornton
    Jim ThorntonAnnouncer

  • Pat Sajak is in his 38th year as Host of Wheel of Fortune. He joined America’s Game® in 1981, when the show aired on network daytime television.  The top-ranked syndicated version made its debut in 1983, with Sajak at the helm.

    Since then, he has earned three Emmy® Awards, a People’s Choice Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In June 2011, Sajak was honored again by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences when he was presented with the Daytime Emmy® Awards Lifetime Achievement Award. In April 2018, he was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, along with Co-Host, Vanna White; Executive Producer, Harry Friedman; and Wheel of Fortune, itself. Most recently, on March 22, 2019, Pat Sajak was recognized by Guinness World Records® for having “the longest career as a game show host for the same show,” totaling 35 years and 198 days when presented.

    “I was very lucky in that I always knew that I wanted to be in broadcasting,” says Sajak.  “My early heroes were people like Arthur Godfrey, Dave Garroway, Steve Allen and, especially, Jack Paar. They helped shape what a television personality was, paving the way for so many others.”

    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.  There, he spent a year and a half with Armed Forces Radio in Saigon — and, like Robin Williams in the feature film of the same name, he started each day by shouting, “Good morning, Vietnam!”

    Following his discharge, Sajak spent a year at another small radio station in Murray, Ky.  He then decided to move to the nearest big city, Nashville, and enter the television business. Sajak was hired by WSM-TV as a staff announcer, eventually expanding his role to talk shows and weather reporting.  There, he was spotted by a talent scout for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles and, in 1977, he joined that station as its weatherman.

    Four years later, he was chosen by Wheel of Fortune’s creator, Merv Griffin, to assume hosting duties on the series’ network daytime edition. In 1983, the nighttime version of the show was launched, and it has been one of the top-rated syndicated TV programs ever since.

Full Credits

Executive Producer

HARRY FRIEDMAN

Supervising Producer

KAREN GRIFFITH

Supervising Producer

STEVE SCHWARTZ

Directed By

ROBERT ENNIS

Produced By

AMANDA STERN

Coordinating Producer

BOB SOFIA

Line Producer

RANDY BERKE

Segment Director

L. DAVID IRETE

Associate Directors

PATRICK O’BRIEN

Production Designer

RENEE HOSS-JOHNSON

Producer

ROB ROMAN

Producer

BROOKE EATON

Contestant Co-Producers

JACKIE LAMATIS

SHANNON BOBILLO

Senior Segment Producer

TREVOR WARD

Senior Segment Producer

STACY THAPTHIMTHONG

Segment Producer

KEN WEINER

Marketing & Promotions Producer

LISA DEE

Executive Director Digital Media

ANNETTE DIMATOS SCHWARTZ

Director Digital Media

MIKE DENNIS

Contestant Department Supervisor

ALEXANDRA REEVES

Contestant Coordinator

ALEXANDER ANGELES

Booth PA / Senior Production Supervisor

JASON SEALS

Production Supervisor

ADAM MCKINNEY

Production Supervisor

JENNY KIM

Senior Production Coordinators

DEBORAH GENOVESE

RACHEL GERIN

Production Coordinator

SARAH SIMMONS

Director Marketing

DARCY ALTWARG HORNBEEK

Set Designer

JODY VACLAV

Executive Director Clearance & Licensing

SHELLEY BALLANCE ELLIS

Clearance Supervisor

JENNIFER HAUGLAND

Music Supervisor

SEAN SASAHARA

Clearance Manager

JOSEPH SOMERVILLE

Senior Clearance Coordinator

SHANNON WHITE LEE

Clearance Coordinators

MONIQUE DIAZ

MICHAEL CLARK

LEONARDO MOMPLET

Assistant to the Executive Producer

YVETTE SAPANZA

Assistants to the Supervising Producers

GINA FREEMAN

CANDACE KRAVITZ

Stage Operations Supervisor

DEBBIE WILLIAMS

Assistant to the Senior Producer

JENNIFER BERKE

Executive Director, Communications

KRISTA OSTENSEN OSCHE

Executive Director Marketing and Promotions

DAVID STRATHEARN

Marketing and Promotions Manager

JESSICA SHUSKO

Publicity and Promotions Manager

KYLE MONTPLAISIR

Publicity and Promotions Coordinator

ERICA LAIBLE

Director Special Projects

SCOTT BRESLER

Production Staff

RITA ARMENTA

BOB GUZZI

CHRISTY MYERS

SPENCER ROSE

CHRISTOPHER ORENIC

LISA DOBSON

Senior Production Accountant

STEVE SIMPSON

Accounting Assistants

MARIA ANGELES

MICHELLE E. BUCKHOFF

KAYLA GIBBON

Set Decorators

HEATHER LYNNE RASNICK

HEATHER DeCRISTO

SHAUN PAGE

Security

TAD NELSON

DOUG DUBOIS

Hair

RENÉE FERRUGGIA

BRITTANY SPAULDING

REGINA RODRIGUEZ

Makeup

BARBI FONTE

MIGUEL ANDRISANI

SANDY GOODMAN

PATTY BORTOLI

Wardrobe

KATHI NISHIMOTO

Lighting Designer

JEFF ENGEL

Gaffer

BRIAN McELROY

Best Boy Electric

GREG PADILLA

Programmer

WILLIAM MCLACHLAN

Technical Director

LUCINDA OWENS MARGOLIS

Production Engineer

ROB KIMPEL

Audio Mixer

COLE COONCE

Audio

BARBARA HAGAN

MITCH TRUEG

JENNIFER WINSLOW

RIC TELLER

Video

GARY TAILLON

Cameras

DIANE FARRELL

RAY REYNOLDS

RANDY GOMEZ SR.

JEFF SCHUSTER

STEVE SIMMONS

RAY GONZALES

Video Utility

TINO MARQUEZ

JEFF AMARAL

MICHAEL CORWIN

Videotape Operators

BOB RYLEY

DEAN REBER

Video Wall Technicians

SHAUN BINNS

KEITH McPETERS

Post Production Supervisor

KELLI CARDONA

Post Production

PETE PARISE

KEITH FERNANDES

TRACEY GLYNN

MARVIN BLUTH

JASON CARDONA

CHARLIE GERTNER

BOB LaMASNEY

DAN SUTTON

EVON BARROS

Electronic Graphics

MICHELE LEE HAMPTON

Head Electronics

BILL MONK

Electronics

CHARLIE MONK

Key Grips

CHUCK KELL

BRAD BURGOON

Grips

JEREMY GOMEZ

Property Master

JEFF SCHWARTZ

Props

RICKY MARTINEZ

BRIAN VAN ZANDT

STEPHANIE SOTO

Decorator Gang Boss

MILES S. RICHMAN

Craft Service

KELLI MICHNA-HYATT

CARMEN ZUNIGA

Music by

JOHN HOKE

Show Photographer

CAROL KAELSON

Stage Manager

JOHN LAUDERDALE

© 2019 CALIFON PRODUCTIONS, INC.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Created By Merv Griffin