HomeTV PersonalityPat Sajak Parents: Leonard Anthony Sajdak & Joyce Backal

Pat Sajak Parents: Leonard Anthony Sajdak & Joyce Backal

Pat Sajak parents, Joyce Backal and Leonard Anthony Sajak, worked in a factory to secure financial stability for their family.

Patrick Leonard Sajdak, the American TV personality, was born on October 26, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois.

Originally spelled as Sajdak, his Polish surname changed to Sajak to match its Americanized pronunciation.

After graduating from Farragut High School in 1964, he attended Columbia College Chicago. During this time, he worked as a desk clerk at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

While at college, his broadcasting instructor, Al Parker, told him about a job opening at a local radio station (WEDC) for a newsman. He applied and got the position, working the midnight to 6:00 a.m. shift.

Pat Sajak, An American TV Personality And Game Show Host
Pat Sajak, An American TV Personality And Game Show Host (Source: Britannica)

In 1968, he joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, Sajak worked as a disc jockey for the American Forces Vietnam Network.

Pat hosted the Dawn Buster radio show, taking over from Adrian Cronauer. He kept up Cronauer’s tradition of starting the show with “Good Morning Vietnam!” for 14 months.

His broadcasting journey started when he won a contest on WLS radio’s Dick Biondi Show, earning a guest spot as a teen deejay.

In a candid moment on the Military Channel’s “An Officer and a Movie,” Sajak shared a story from his military service.

He revealed that he accidentally mishandled President Richard Nixon’s 1969 Christmas broadcast to the troops by cutting off the feed too soon. Realizing the mistake, he chose not to resume the broadcast.

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Pat Sajak Parents: Leonard Anthony Sajdak & Joyce Backal

Pat Sajak, a well-renowned American TV personality and gameshow host, was born on October 26, 1946, to Polish American parents, Leonard Anthony Sajdak and Joyce (nee Brandecki) Sajdak.

The challenging financial situation of Pat’s family had a significant impact on him, fueling a determination to achieve something significant in his life.

Sajak’s relationship with his father, Leonard Sajdak, and his paternal grandparents was not that close.

In addition to grappling with financial difficulties, he had to navigate the emotional pain of his parents’ separation at a young age.

However, later Sajak’s mother, Joyce, remarried Walter Backal in 1956. Sadly, his father passed away in 1961, and he also lost touch with that side of his family.

Pat Sajak Parents: Pat Sajak While In Military
Pat Sajak While In Military (Source: SOFREP)

After graduating, Pat actively looked for a job and got hired as a desk clerk at a Chicago hotel. He left the military in 1970 and encountered difficulties in finding steady employment.

However, he eventually found an opportunity with NBC’s Nashville affiliate, WSM. There, he served as a disc jockey on the radio station and worked as a staff announcer on the television channel.

His versatility was evident as he frequently filled in as a substitute for regular newscasters. When the weekend weatherman position became vacant, Sajak emerged as a natural and fitting choice to assume the role.

Pat Sajak Husband & Kids

Pat Sajak Has been married twice in his lifetime. He was first married to his ex-wife, Sherrill, and it lasted from 1979 to 1986.

The couple lived in a lovely house in Glendale, which was later renovated and put up for sale in 2014.

Pat Sajak’s current wife is Lesly Brown, a photographer. They exchanged wedding rings on the 31st of December 1989.

Pat Sajak And Lesley Brown With Their Children
Pat Sajak And Lesley Brown With Their Children (Source: Yahoo News)

Pat Sajak and Lesly Brown are blessed with two children. While their son, James, was born on September 22, 1990, their daughter, Maggie, was born on January 5, 1995.

The family of four divides their time between Severna Park, Maryland, and Los Angeles, California.

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Deepa Shrestha
Deepa Shrestha
Deepa Shrestha, a dedicated undergraduate student, adept editor and passionate writer with a talent for producing compelling articles. Beyond her academic commitments, she skillfully maneuvers through the landscape of celebrity gossip and TV shows, offering a distinctive viewpoint on the realms of cinema and pop culture.

Expertise: Netflix Observer Indie Film Expert


  • Recognized for her expertise in providing cultural commentary within the realm of entertainment
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    Deepa Shrestha, an experienced writer at Superfestfilm, seamlessly blends cultural insights into her work. Her articles offer a fresh take on the entertainment industry, inviting readers to explore the vibrant tapestry of cultures through the lens of captivating storytelling.



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