Richard Harrison, Pawn Stars' Sharp-Tongued Patriarch, Has Died At 77: Here Are Some Of The Most Touching Tributes From His Family And Biggest Fans
The business savvy great grandfather passed away after succumbing to a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was surrounded by the people he loved most at the time of his passing.
Here's what his friends, family, and fans have to say about their loss.
Many will remember Richard Harrison, a.k.a. "The Old Man," as the oftentimes cranky yet well-meaning and loving grandpa on the History Channel's cult favorite reality TV show, Pawn Stars.
The show first aired in 2009, has completed 15 seasons to date, and can boast of at least 500 episodes under its belt. In Pawn Stars' nine-year history, the cast—which comprises of Richard, his son Rick, grandson Corey, Corey's childhood best friend Chumlee as well as a number of revolving employees and consultants—has gained a massive following from all corners of the world.
While the show revolves around the Harrison family's dealings with individuals wishing to sell them objects of cultural or historical value, its biggest fans usually cite their interactions—bantering, teasing, yelling, and tough love included—as their main reasons for loving the show.
At the center of it all was Richard, who was beloved for his impeccable comic timing, ability to keep his family in line, and the respect he commanded. Despite not being a regular on the show since 2012 (his son had taken over the business), Richard's appearances in Pawn Stars' later years were highly anticipated by their millions of viewers.
Looking back at how far the show has gone, the patriarch is credited for his family's success. Having retired from the US Navy after 20 years of service, he shifted his focus from dabbling in real estate to starting his own venture in the form of a pawn shop.
In 1988, Richard and his son Rick put up the renowned Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas that their reality show would eventually be based on; what began as a $10,000 investment grew to what is now a multi-million dollar enterprise. But more than bestowing his brood financial security, the 77-year-old left them behind with the values of discipline, perseverance, and hard work—intangible, yet invaluable gifts.
Once asked about the possibility of retiring, Richard said the only time he would consider it when was he would walk out his shop's door and fail to find the fun in going to work—but every day, until he could, he found reasons to get up in the morning and stand by the counter, clearly still in love with the business he started all those years back.
As news about his death spread, social media was set ablaze with tributes from Richard's family and fans, as well as his colleagues who were quick to share their sentiments and best memories with their all-time favorite "old man."
Here's what his family had to say:
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.
I was lucky enough to spend 15 years of my life working with the old man. He wasn’t just a grandfather, he was truly a best friend as well. I’m truly blessed to have had him as a mentor. He will be missed everyday at this time we thank you for all of the kind words and we ask for privacy as we mourn his passing.
It’s hard to believe he is gone. He was such a big part of my life and treated me like family. I will miss him greatly and carry the lessons he taught me throughout my life. You could always count on him to straighten you out or make you laugh and both of those things I need every day. . RIP Richard Harrison The Old Man. . . . . . . . . #goldandsilverpawnshop #pawnstars #chumlee #rickharrison #bighoss #goldandsilver #worldfamous #pawn #sincity #elpreciodelahistoria
Richard's network and global fan base also had a lot to share:
The #OldMan #RichardHarrison and his son #RickHarrison. What a duo! I was a HUGE fan and he loved his nickname!! His humor made me LOL??! His knowledge in the pawn business was legendary. I’ll miss him. #PawnStars @pawnstars. Rest easy Old Man. ?????????? pic.twitter.com/YObd1W6A0B— CynthiaCMB (Cindy) (@CynthiaCMB) June 25, 2018
My condolences to the Harrison family on the loss of their beloved husband, father, grandfather and all around friend to so many. #RichardHarrison Though I had never been given the chance to meet him I felt like he was a friend a step grandfather by watching his show RIP Sir. pic.twitter.com/9Cj2TbKrnZ— John Taylor (@JBG_Past_Prime) June 25, 2018
RIP #RichardHarrison #OldMan #PawnStars. Watched every day, so sad that you're no longer the harrison trio but your legacy will live on. Condolences to the #Harrison family such sad news ?? ?? @corey_harrison @pawnstars @GoldSilverPawn @chumlee_— sherelle burrows (@MissDisney83) June 25, 2018
This morning from @corey_harrison on the passing of "Pops," #RichardHarrison: "If there was a problem, he was the guy to fix it. He wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. I think he was pleased at how his life turned out.” @pawnstars @HISTORY @GoldSilverPawn— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) June 25, 2018
Photos from @rick_harrison