Richard “The Old Man” Harrison
Entrepreneur, Reality TV Star
March 4, 1941 – June 25, 2018
Richard Harrison, best known as “The Old Man” on the reality TV show “Pawn Stars” has passed away at the age of 77. Harrison’s son Rick announced the death on his Instagram account.
“He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very ‘Old Man’ as my dad” said Rick Harrison in his announcement.
“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 with some privacy at this time” concluded Harrison.
Richard Harrison was born in Danville, Virginia in 1941. He grew up in a poor family and left high school in his junior year. At the age of 14, he tried to help his family make money by driving a school bus and picking up and dropping off children. He was paid about 5 dollars a week for his work.
While attending a barn dance at the age of 17, Harrison would meet his future wife, Joanne Rhue. The pair would be married two years later in 1960. Prior to their marriage, Harrison was arrested after stealing a car. The judge gave him a choice to go to jail or enlist in the military. Harrison chose the latter and began serving in the Navy.
Shortly after his marriage to Joanne, the pair would become pregnant with their first daughter Sherry who was born with Down Syndrome. In 1962, Harrison was discharged from the navy but would re-enlist 14 months later to obtain medical benefits to help cover Sherry’s expenses. Unfortunately, Sherry passed away at the age of 6.
Harrison had a lengthy career in the military and served for 20 years. In 1967, he was transferred to San Diego and moved his family to California. Sherry obtained her real estate license and was able to open her own office in 1973. After he left the military, Harrison worked part time at his wife’s office. In 1981, with interest rates as high as 18 percent, the real estate office closed and the collapse cost Harrison $1,000,000.
With nothing but $5000 left, Harrison and his family moved to Las Vegas in 1981. Upon arriving Harrison and his son Rick opened “Gold & Silver Coin Shop” in a 300 square foot retail space. In 1986, the pair would upgrade to a larger space. Then, in 1987, they received a license to buy and sell second hand goods. Their business lease expired in 1988. In 1989, Rick opened “The World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop”.
In 2009, the store would partner with the History Channel and began production on the reality TV series Pawn Stars. The success of the show would help make the store a tourist attraction with 3000-5000 people visiting the store every day.
Harrison had a passion for automobiles. Notable cars in his collection include a 1966 Imperial Crown, a 1957 Chevy 150 sedan, and a mid-1960’s B&Z Electric King electric car.
Harrison was preceded in death by his daughter Sherry. He leaves behind his wife Joanne, his sons Joseph, Rick, and Chris, as well as several grandchildren.
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This entry was posted in Celebrity Deaths on June 26th, 2018 by ObitTree .
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