Richard Harrison, the “Old Man” in the History Channel reality show Pawn Stars, has died, his son announced on June 25, 2018. He was 77-years-old.
How did Richard Harrison die? The death was confirmed by his family and business, and the cause of death was given as Parkinson’s. “‘The Old Man’ Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved,” Rick Harrison, his son, told TMZ. “He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over.” His full name was Richard Benjamin Harrison.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Harrison’s Son Called Him a ‘Hero’
In the statement to TMZ, Richard Harrison’s son praised his father, saying, “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad.”
The History Channel’s show Pawn Stars showcased the family business, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Richard Benjamin Harrison was the family’s patriarch on the show and in real life, earning loyal fans throughout the country.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Rick Harrison wrote: “Richard Benjamin ‘The Old Man’ Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved. He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over. He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and ask that we are provided some privacy at this time.”
Rick Harrison, the son, praised his father on Instagram, writing, “Today I lost a friend, a father, a teacher and so much more. The Old Man lost his long battle with Parkinson’s this morning. Love you Dad. See you on the other side.”
The History Channel remembered Harrison, writing on Twitter, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Richard ‘The Old Man’ Harrison, a beloved member of the HISTORY and #PawnStars family. He will be greatly missed for his wisdom and candor. Our thoughts are with the Harrison family during this difficult time.”
2. Richard Harrison Died Surrounded by Family
The pawn shop also released a statement that said Harrison died surrounded by family. “It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Richard Benjamin Harrison (known as ‘The Old Man’ to ‘Pawn Stars’ fans the world over) this morning,” the statement from the Gold & Silver Pawn shop announced, according to Fox News. “He was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.”
The statement also mentioned Harrison’s large family.
“The team at Gold & Silver Pawn and the Pawn Stars family is grieving his loss,” it read. “He will be remembered as the best father, grandfather and great-grandfather you could have by his family and by fans as the sometimes grumpy (always loving, however), often wisecracking, and voice of absolute reason on the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’. Services are pending and the family appreciates your prayers and kind words.”
3. Harrison Was Previously the Subject of a Death Hoax
Many fans wondered in the past whether Richard Harrison was dead or alive because he was previously the subject of a death hoax in 2016. However, this time, in 2018, his death has been confirmed.
However, in 2016, a false claim circulated on a Facebook page that Harrison had died then. It was debunked by Snopes. He would live two more years, however.
4. Harrison Was Born in Virginia to a Handyman Father
A profile story in The Dispatch described how Harrison grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. However, Harrison “was born in Danville, Va., and his family moved to Lexington when he was only 1,” the newspaper reported, adding that his father, Richard Harrison Sr., was a handyman who did “work for a number of businesses and homeowners around town.” His mother was named Ruth.
According to his History Channel biography, Richard Harrison made his fortune in the pawn business because he was so good at assessing merchandise, in part.
“Richard is now armed with the rare skill of assessing the value of anything accurately. With uncanny precision, Richard is the king of purchasing underpriced merchandise, even from archival pawn shops, which has helped turn his initial $10,000 investment into a multi-million dollar business,” the bio said, describing Harrison as “disciplined” and “cunning.”
5. Richard Harrison Entered the Pawn Shop Business in the 1980s
According to The Dispatch, Harrison was first a Navy man for two decades. He tried his hand at real estate, but he lost too much money, so he went into the pawn shop business in 1988. According to his History Channel bio, Harrison lost a million dollars in other ventures before he decided to become a pawn shop owner.
“After serving in the U.S. Navy and losing a million dollars in the real estate market, Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison uprooted his family and moved to Las Vegas in pursuit of a fresh start. Opening the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in 1988, he had to learn a little about a lot really fast,” the bio reads.
The Old Man left behind a net worth of $5 million, according to The History Channel.