It’s the end of an era — the elder Pawn Stars fixture known as “The Old Man” has passed away. Richard Harrison died at age 77 following a battle with Parkinson’s Disease, according to his son, Rick Harrison. Fans of the History Channel reality show Pawn Stars were devastated to hear of The Old Man’s passing. Rick took to Instagram to share the sad news, writing: “Today I lost a friend, a father, a teacher and so much more.”
He added: “The Old Man lost his long battle with Parkinson’s this morning. Love you Dad. See you on the other side.”
Rick further explained that his father died “surrounded by those he loved,” writing: “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.”
Pawn Stars debuted on History in 2009 and was one of its most popular series, which followed a family-owned Las Vegas business called World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
History noted in a statement shared on social media: “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.”
Additionally, the statement noted: “The team at Gold & Silver Pawn and the Pawn Stars family is grieving his loss. 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.’”
The video shares some facts about The Old Man, including details of his poor upbringing and status as a high school drop out at age 14. Interestingly, he was only 38 years old when he first got the nickname The Old Man because of his appearance and behavior.
The Old Man and his wife, whom he met at a dance, were married in 1960; he joined the navy and served for two decades, following which he worked in his wife’s real estate office. In 1981, their real estate business collapsed, however, and they moved to Las Vegas, where he started the pawn shop business.
Co-workers remarked that The Old Man was very much the same as viewers saw him on TV and while he spent a fair amount of time dozing in his chair, he was always the first one to arrive in the morning and hadn’t had a sick day since 1994.