‘Pawn Stars’: How Did ‘Old Man’ Richard Harrison Die?

by Matthew Memrick

When “Pawn Stars” personality Richard Harrison died in 2018, his son Rick affirmed that his father succumbed to Parkinson’s disease.

The History Channel star, known as “The Old Man,” died at age 77 after a two-year battle. His son said the father died at 4 a.m. on June 25.

“We knew it was coming,” Rick Harrison told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It was such a long battle, a slow progression. It just ravaged him.”

Harrison had three sons and left his wealth to them and their wives. But his will did not get updated a year before the man’s death. According to documents found by The Blast, the youngest son Christopher Harrison did not get anything. The family did not provide any details over the decision.

Richard Harrison’s deadpan humor was a staple in 272 episodes of the show. He could dish it out as well as he could take it. Often, he wore a signature black suit and fedora. Family members loved getting picked on, and the show’s cohesiveness often resonated with fans worldwide.

Rick Harrison said fans from more than 150 countries knew ‘The Old Man’ because of the show.

Harrison A Navy Veteran

Born in Danville, Va., the future star’s dad was a welder and carpenter. 

He moved the family to Lexington, N.C. The city is known for its barbecue and often is mentioned along with Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas for its particular styles. 

He spent most of his childhood in the city before leaving for the Navy after his junior year of high school. During that time, he married high school sweetheart JoAnne Rhue in 1959.

By 1967, the Navy transferred “The Old Man” to San Diego, and years later, his service ended with a discharge. According to IMDB, Harrison served his country for 20 years.

His post-military career led to a job with his wife’s real estate business

Notably, Harrison earned his nickname “The Old Man” when he was 38.

The Harrison family moved to Las Vegas in 1981 and opened Gold & Silver Coin Shop. After another move and a name change in 1988, the shop eventually took off, backed by the publicity it got from its “Pawn Stars” in July 2009.

When the show started, Richard Harrison was 68 years old.

The show featured Harrison, his son Rick, grandson Corey and family friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell.

Life After Richard “The Old Man” Harrison

After his death, Corey Harrison told the newspaper about his grandfather’s popularity from the show.

“I loved all the blue-haired ladies would walk up and pinch his butt,” he said. “He was really, really popular with fans.”

Rick Harrison has starred on 480 episodes, and the long-running show is into its 18th season on the network.