'Pawn Stars' Reality Show Family Announces Death of 'Old Man'

Richard Benjamin Harrison Jr., better known as 'Old Man' on the reality show 'Pawn Stars', lost his battle with Parkinson's disease. The reality star is mourned by his family, with his son and business partner putting out a touching tribute on social media.

Mr. Harrison opened the 'Gold & Silver Pawn Shop' with his son Rick Harrison near the Las Vegas Strip in 1989, and the business was a booming success. The business was featured in its own reality show in 2009 along with the Old Man, Rick, Rick's son Corey Harrison, and Corey's best friend Austin "Chumlee" Russell. The show, which detailed customer interacts with the staff as they tried to pawn a variety of good and artifacts, quickly became the History Channel's biggest hit.

The staff said that they see a lot of gamblers who come in to pawn something so they can buy gas to get themselves home, but they ultimately became well known for the historic artifacts and sports memorabilia in which they dealt. They began pitching the idea for a reality show to various networks, but for about five years there was little interest.

The ‘Old Man’, also known as ‘The Appraiser’ on the show, was known for being 'old and cranky'. Harrison even joked on one episode, "My role on the show is to be an old grump." He was very knowledgeable on a number of items, particularly war memorabilia and cars. An automobile aficionado, Harrison expressed great interest on rare occasions when antique or unique cars were brought by customers to the shop.

“Today I lost a friend, a father, a teacher and so much more. The Old Man lost his long battle with Parkinson’s this morning. Love you Dad. See you on the other side,” Rick wrote on Instagram. “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad.”

The accompanying photo was an image of the elder Harrison at a young age wearing his Navy uniform. Mr. Harrison was a veteran of the Navy, having served for 20 years.

The Gold & Silver Pawn Facebook Page announced Harrison's death, noting that, "He was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully."

"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’. Services are pending and the family appreciates your prayers and kind words," read a post.

Fans poured in to offer condolences, with nearly 100,000 comments to date.

"So sad!!! My prayers go out to Rick and his family. "The Old Man" was my favorite!!!! What are they going g to do without his wise council!!!" one wrote.

"So sorry to hear of this tremendous loss. He reminded me of my grandfather at times, and always made me smile. Hugs and prayers to your family," said another.

"Our deepest sympathies on the loss of ur Dad. It always came across to ur viewers how much the family loved n respected "the old man". RIP," another added.

Source: New York Daily News
Photos: You Tube

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