Inventor of the Wheel of Fortune is D – E- __ – D. (Hint: buy a vowel)

Not a bad run.

Ed Flesh, an art director for dozens of TV game shows like Wheel of Fortune, The $25,000 Pyramid, Jeopardy! and Name That Tune, died July 15 at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Calif. He was 79.

Flesh died of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, publicist Fred Wostbrock said Tuesday.

For NBC’s Wheel of Fortune, it was Flesh who conceived of the spinning wheel as one that spins horizontally instead of vertically.

The Philadelphia native also designed the sets for David Letterman’s first talk show for NBC daytime, for The Montel Williams Show and for three special editions of The Oprah Winfrey Show — for appearances by Barbra Streisand, Madonna and John Travolta.

Other game shows on Flesh’s resume include Second Chance, Press Your Luck, Celebrity Sweepstakes, 50 Grand Slam, To Say the Least and The New Newlywed Game, hosted by Bob Eubanks.

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