‘Pawn Stars’: The Most Important Lesson Rick Harrison Ever Learned from His Dad, ‘The Old Man’

by Josh Lanier

Pawn Stars Rick Harrison worked with his Old Man Richard Harrison for nearly 30 years. They started the Gold & Silver Pawnshop in Las Vegas together in 1989.

And Rick admits he didn’t really rebel against his dad like most teenagers. He and his dad were always close. But he did once test that boundary, and Richard taught him a valuable lesson. One the Pawn Stars host still remembers 40 years later.

I think about him every day. I had a different relationship with him. 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.

“When I was 16 years old, I tried to act all tough and told him “F you” to him. He punched me in the face. I’m laying on the ground. He looks at me and says, ‘Old enough to talk to me like a man, old enough to get your ass beat like one.’ I just got up, walked away, and never said another word about it. He really changed my perspective on life and how words have meaning. That was one of the greatest life lessons he ever gave me… He was just an amazing individual. He taught that no matter what, you always take care of your kids, your family. If you have kids, you’re a father for the rest of your life. He was an old school kind of guy that I think we need more of.”

Rick Harrison, Fox News

Richard Harrison died in 2018 from Parkinson’s disease.

Rick Tried to Get ‘Pawn Stars’ Made for Years

Rick Harrison knew his family’s business would make for a good show. He started pitching the ideas to networks during the reality show boom of the 2000s, but no one would produce it.

Unbeknownst to Rick Harrison, two of his customers wound up getting Pawn Stars off the ground. Brent Montgomery and Colby Gaines ran a small, struggling production company called Leftfield Pictures. One night in 2008, after a boozy bachelor party in Las Vegas, the men stumbled into some pawn shops. They were shocked at how random and different all the items seemed to be. So, they started meeting with some of the pawnshop owners looking for characters. They fell in love with the Harrisons and spent a day some scenes around the store and cut together a highlight reel.

The History Channel bought the show in a few days. Montgomery told Deadline that Pawn Stars sold faster than any show he’s ever been a part of.