‘Pawn Stars’: Richard ‘Old Man’ Harrison Was Worth a Fortune at Time of His Death

by Josh Lanier

Anyone who’s watched the Harrison grow their empire on History Channel’s Pawn Stars knows that pawn pays. But how much they’ve made in their enterprise is a more guarded secret. But when Richard “Old Man” Harrison died in 2018 fans got a look at how much he’d amassed during his decades at the Las Vegas shop. It’s a lot more than most would suspect.

The Pawn Stars progenitor left behind a fortune of more than $9 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That’s a hefty haul, but probably worth it for someone who had to work with his entire family every day.

The Old Man started the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with this son Rick Harrison in 1989. Richard Harrison had made a fortune in Las Vegas real estate. But after he lost more than $1 million, he decided he needed a new line of work, Bankrate says. Their original goal was to amass a fortune in precious metals. They did, but customers kept bringing in strange and unique items. And over time they became known for having one of the most eclectic selections of obscure and random things.

That’s where the idea for Pawn Stars came from. Producers of the show happened to stumble into the store one late night in Vegas after a bachelor party. It was shocking to see all the Harrison’s had on offer. So, the producers cut a highlight reel and shopped it around, Deadline reported. The Old Man had tried to get a show off the ground for years to no avail. But after seeing the reel of clips, History Channel bought the show in only a few days.

Hundreds of episodes later, Pawn Stars continue to shine bright in the Las Vegas night sky.

Pawn Stars Examine Handwritten Einstein Letter

The show continues to keep up its promise of weird and interesting items always coming into the shop. Rick Harrison, who now heads the company after Richard died of Parkinson, recently shared that another rare item was on its way into the shop.

On the most recent episode of Pawn Stars, a man brought in a series of letters between Albert Einstein and another physicist. After some back and forth with the seller and the obligatory appraisal from an expert, the store ended up purchasing the letters for $5,000.

In what other pawn shop would you find personal letters from Einstein?

The thing is, this isn’t the first time someone has brought in a rare item from the genius. In 2017, a man brought in a scrap of paper into Gold & Silver Pawn that Einstein used to scribble some math equations. It was a pretty rare item, but one that Harrison was unable to buy. His offer was too low for the seller.