If you are a fan of reality shows, chances are you enjoyed the Pawn Stars, which featured the life and the work of Richard “Old Man” Harrison and his family, who ran the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas.
The show was a huge success, winning the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for Best Television Series in 2011, 2012 and 2013. It was also nominated for three Critics Choice Television Awards. Besides Richard and his three sons, Joe, Rick and Chris, the Old Man’s grandson Corey and his friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell were also part of it.
Sadly, the Old Man, who became a Las Vegas celebrity, passed away at the age of 77 in 2018.
Richard was born in 1941 and was a troubled kid. When he was 17, he stole a car and the judge gave him two options, either go to jail or join the military. Richard chose the latter. He enlisted in the U.S Navy in 1958 and his career lasted for several years, or until it was already impossible for his wife Joanne Rhue to raise their three kids by herself.
Before they had their sons, Richard and Joanne had a daughter, Sherry, who had Down Syndrome and passed away at the age of six. Richard described losing his little girl as the biggest heartbreak he had ever experienced.
In 1981, the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and that’s when the story with their pawn shop started.
If you wonder what was so special about this shop that made it different than the rest of the shops of its kind was that Old Man didn’t only accept silver and gold, but a number of collectibles like vintage cars, antiques, firearms and a lot more.
When Old Man died, his son Rick, who now runs the pawn shop, paid a beautiful and touching tribute to his father on Instagram.
“He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over,” Rick wrote on Instagram. “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.
“I think about him every day. I had a different relationship with him,” Rick said.
“Most people, when they turn 18, they go off to school, get a job and move out. I worked with my father from the time I was a kid. He stayed in the Navy for years because of me. Otherwise, it would have been really difficult with my medical expenses. But despite my epilepsy, he never treated me differently.”
However, after Richard was gone, one thing left fans shocked and confused. The reality show’s final wish. Apparently, he cut his son Christopher out of his will, according to The Blast. “I would like to express my love and affection for [Christopher Harrison]; however for the purposes of this Will, I have intentionally and with full knowledge failed to provide for him and his issue.”
Richard Old Man Harrison showed a lot of people that dreams do come true. He was a loving man and will be missed by his family and many of his fans.