Richard Harrison, known as “The Old Man” on History’s long-running Pawn Stars, died Monday after a battle with Parkinson’s disease, his son Rick Harrison confirmed. He was 77.
“Richard Benjamin ‘The Old Man’ Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved,” Rick Harrison wrote on Instagram. “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.”
With his deadpan humor and signature black suit and fedora, Navy veteran Richard Harrison was the patriarch of Pawn Stars. He took no small amount of ribbing from his son Rick, grandson Corey and longtime family friend Austin Russell, known on the show as Chumlee.
Richard and Rick Harrison opened the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas in 1989 after relocating from San Diego. The series Pawn Stars, produced by ITV America’s Leftfield Pictures, premiered in July 2009 on History, chronicling the family business and the Harrisons’ interaction with customers, who bring in a variety of items to sell or pawn. The series, currently in its 15th season, became the network’s highest-rated show and the No. 2 reality show behind MTV’s Jersey Shore.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Richard ‘The Old Man’ Harrison, a beloved member of the History and ‘Pawn Stars’ family,” History said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed for his wisdom and candor. Our thoughts are with the Harrison family during this difficult time.”
Harrison earned his nickname “The Old Man” when he was 38.
“The world got to know Richard Harrison as ‘Old Man,’ a quiet yet wickedly funny force of nature who was a strong father, a strong businessman and the heart of Pawn Stars. Together, we embarked on an amazing, decade-long journey that bonded us with the Harrison family, created thriving enterprises and, in partnership with History, allowed us to entertain and inform millions around the world,” said ITV America, CEO David George, and former ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery. “Our ‘Old Man’ was the true hidden treasure, and all of us at ITV America and Leftfield Pictures offer our deepest gratitude and condolences to Rick, Austin and the extended Harrison and ‘Gold and Silver’ family.”
Services are pending.
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