Merv Griffintelevision host, businessman
Birthplace: San Mateo, Calif.
After a brief career as a singer, he became a game show host, then hosted his own talk show from 1965–86. His most lasting contributions to American popular culture were his creations of game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. He encountered some financial difficulty when he invested in gambling casinos and became chairman of Resorts International, which he eventually sold to Coca-Cola in 1986.