LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) — Richard Benjamin Harrison, better known as the ‘Old Man’ on the History Channel reality series “Pawn Stars” died on June 25 after a battle with Parkinson’s. He was 77.
A statement by Harrison’s family said: “he was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.”
A native of Virginia, Harrison was arrested for car theft and opted to do a stint in the U.S. Navy when offered enlistment as an option to prison, according to his 2011 biography.
After he was discharged from the service following a 20-year career, he briefly tried his hand in real estate before moving to Las Vegas, where he opened a gold and silver shop that he later expanded into a pawn business.
In 1989, he and his son relocated the shop again to its current location, which was made famous by the History Channel show that purported to show the day-to-day operations of the business.
While the items being ‘pawned’ on the show were in reality often seeded by producers for dramatic effect, the show, which began in 2009, quickly became one of the most popular programs in the channel’s lineup.”
“It’s interesting to look back at how Gold & Silver has evolved over the course of these 500 episodes,” Harrison’s son Rick, who is also featured on the show told Fox News earlier this year. “When ‘Pawn Stars’ started, the shop was averaging about 70 people a day, and now, we average thousands. We’ve also gone from 10 employees to over 50. It’s been an incredible ride.”
Harrison is survived by his wife JoAnne and their three sons, Joseph, Rick, and Chris.