Some thought he was rough and gruff with his customers at the world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas Nevada, but Richard Harrison, the patriarch of the business, was always fair when he assessed items brought into his establishment, but at the same time, he was savvy enough to know how to make a profit.
On Monday it was announced that "The Old Man" as he was referred to, passed away from complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was 77 years old. Harrison, who was a navy veteran, decided that he wanted to make a good life for his family and moved them to Las Vegas NV in 1988 and opened a pawn shop.
Their website states that the shop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). It is one of the top non-gaming attractions that you can easily catch a cab to and from. There is also free parking on-site.
The success of the TV series began in 2001, when the shop was featured in a PBS documentary where Harrison's son Rick, who was the manager and part owner, was trying to pitch the idea of a show about the daily dealings of those who run a pawn shop. Rick's persistence paid off in 2009 when The History Channel gave the idea the green light.
The show documented the day-to-day events of the family run business, featuring: the "Old Man," Rick, his son Corey "Big Hoss," and Corey's friend Austin Russell aka "Chumlee." The success of the show was beyond what anyone expected, and it made instant stars out of those involved. The Old Man did in fact make a good life for his family, but also for those involved in the operations of the store.
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.
Rick Harrison posted a statement on Instagram saying that his dad was his hero and that he was fortunate to get a very cool dad. He praised him for being a good family man who lived a full life and touched many people's lives. "Today," he said, "I lost my best friend and so much more. The old man lost his battle with Parkinson's Disease this morning. Love you dad. See you on the other side."