Vanna White
Source YouTube: TR47, Good Morning America

Vanna White has co-hosted Wheel of Fortune since 1982. As her fellow host Pat Sajak retires from Wheel of Fortune, we decided to take a walk down memory lane and learn a little more about White’s life.

With Pat’s retirement, many are wondering if Vanna White is retiring. The answer is, no, at least not yet!

When Was Vanna White Born?

White was born Vanna Marie Rosich on February 18, 1957 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She was born to Miguel Angel Rosich, and Joan Marie Rosich. Unfortunately, Vanna’s father divorced her mother and disappeared from her life completely soon after she was born.

Joan soon married for a second time to Herbert White, who raised Vanna as his own. He adopted her and she legally took his last name as her own.

Vanna was raised in Myrtle Beach, where Herbert was a successful real estate broker.

Vanna began modeling while attending college at the Atlanta School of Fashion and Design in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue acting. Sadly, she had to return to South Carolina the next year to see her mother, who was dying of ovarian cancer. Joan died on July 10, 1980 at the age of 44.

When Did Vanna White Start On Wheel Of Fortune?

After her mother’s death, White returned to Los Angeles to pursue acting roles.

Many fans will be surprised to learn that Vanna actually wasn’t the original letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune. Susan Stafford actually originated that hostess role when Wheel of Fortune premiered back in 1975. She continued co-hosting the game show until October of 1982, when she left to pursue a career in clinical psychology.

Vanna was one of 200 women to audition to replace Stafford. Wheel Of Fortune creator Merv Griffin ultimately chose Vanna for the position, later saying that he picked her because “she turned the letters the best.” You can check out Vanna’s first episode of Wheel of Fortune here.

Vanna has been turning letters on Wheel of Fortune ever since. In fact, she’s co-hosted over 8,000 episodes of the game show!

Related: Vanna White Addresses Possible End Of ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ With Pat Sajak – ‘I Don’t Even Want To Think About It’

Is Vanna White Married?

Vanna has unfortunately had some difficult times when it comes to her romantic life.

Soon after she moved to Los Angeles, Vanna met the Young and the Restless actor John Gibson, who would later be described as the love of her life. They became engaged in 1986. Sadly, later that year, tragedy struck when Gibson was killed when the private plane he was flying crashed outside Van Nuys airport near Los Angeles.

“It was May 17, 1986,” Vanna told People Magazine decades later. “The second I heard about it, I fell to my knees. It was just devastating.” 

Vanna would go on to marry the restauranteur George Santo Pietro in 1990. They divorced in November of 2002. Santo Pietro is very private, so little is known about their marriage and divorce.

Vanna was then engaged to the businessman Michael Kaye from 2004 to 2006. However, they broke up before they ever walked down the aisle.

Who Is Vanna White’s Current Partner?

Thankfully, Vanna’s love life is going quite well these days. She’s been dating the contractor John Donaldson since 2012. She met Donaldson, who is the owner of JDC Construction + Development Group, when a friend brought him to a barbecue that she was hosting.

“I remember looking at him and thinking, ‘He’s really cute,'” she later told People Magazine. “We ended up talking for a long time that night.”

Vanna and Donaldson are still together to this day.

“It just works,” Vanna explained of their romance. “He lets me be me, I let him be him. There is no drama.”

Does Vanna White Have Children?

Vanna and her ex-husband are the proud parents of two children. Their son Nikko Santo Pietro was born on June 10, 1994. Their daughter Giovanna “Gigi” Santo Pietro followed on July 1, 1997.

Nikko currently works as a real estate agent in Southern California. Meanwhile, Gigi works as a tattoo artist in Venice, California. While she keeps her life private, Gigi enjoys showing off her tattoo designs on Instagram.

Being a mother has been one of the most important things to Vanna in her life.

“Your whole life changes after you have children,” she previously said. “You never sleep soundly.  You always have one eye open.  You’re constantly worrying about their safety.”

“But I wouldn’t change a thing,” Vanna added. “Giovanna and Nicholas have brought so much love and joy into my life — more than I could have ever imagined.”

Is Vanna White Leaving Wheel Of Fortune?

Though Pat Sajak has retired from Wheel of Fortune after hosting the game show for 43 years, Vanna isn’t going anywhere!

“When I heard that Pat was retiring, I thought maybe I should retire too,” she recently told TV Insider. “But I’m not ready!”

In September of 2023, Vanna signed a two-year contract extension that will have her stay on Wheel of Fortune through at least the 2025-26 season.

“We’ll see toward the end of those two years how I feel,” she said. “I thank God after all these years that I still love my job.”

Related: ‘Wheel Of Fortune’s’ Vanna White Talks Retirement – Here’s What You Need To Know About Her

What Is Vanna White’s Yearly Salary?

Under the terms of her new contract, Vanna is allegedly set to make $10 million per year for the next two seasons of Wheel of Fortune.

Vanna was previously making $3 million per season of Wheel of Fortune. This remained her salary for 18 years, with no raise happening between 2005 and 2023.

After Sajak announced his retirement, Vanna reportedly told producers that she would not return to Wheel of Fortune unless her salary was increased to $7.5 million. They agreed to give her the raise that she deserved.

When Vanna’s other hosting duties for shows like ABC’s Celebrity Wheel of Fortune are factored in, she stands to make $10 million through the 2025-2026 season.

What Is Vanna White’s Net Worth?

Vanna has an estimated net worth of $85 million. This comes after decades of success as a television personality, model, and actress.

Vanna has brought joy to millions of fans every night on Wheel of Fortune for over forty years. While we will certainly understand if she ever decides to retire, we’re glad that she’s not going anywhere anytime soon!

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