Richard Harrison, best known as "The Old Man" on Pawn Stars, has passed away at the age of 77. Harrison died after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. The news of his passing was confirmed by his son and Pawn Stars co-star, Rick Harrison, via a post made to his Instagram account. Here's what the younger Harrison had to say in a statement.
"Richard Benjamin 'The Old Man' Harrison passed away this morning surrounded by those he loved. He will be tremendously missed by our family, the team at Gold & Silver Pawn and his many fans the world over. He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool 'Old Man' as my dad. 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 some privacy at this time."
Rick Harrison later made another post featuring a photo of his father during his years in the navy saying, "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." Richard Harrison was born in 1941 and rose to fame as The Old Man on The History Channel's hit series Pawn Stars, which first debuted on the network in 2009. It's remained a steady hit for the network over the years and Harrison was a beloved figure to fans of the series. History had this to say about his passing on Twitter.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Richard 'The Old Man' Harrison, a beloved member of the History and @pawnstars family. He will be greatly missed for his wisdom and candor. Our thoughts are with the Harrison family during this difficult time"
Richard Harrison and his son Rick Harrison opened the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas in 1989. The store has become a popular destination thanks to the success of Pawn Stars. Harrison was a proud Navy veteran of 20 years. The U.S. Navy paid tribute to him on Twitter saying, "#RIP Richard 'Old Man' Harrison of 'Pawn Stars'. As he mentioned many times on the show, he was a proud 20-year Navy vet who had served aboard fleet tug USS Chowanoc (ATF-100)." Harrison was known as Old Man, a nickname which he first earned for himself at the age of 38. ITV America, producer of Pawn Stars, also released a joint statement from current CEO David George and former CEO Brent Montgomery on his passing.
"The world got to know Richard Harrison as 'Old Man,' a quiet yet wickedly funny force of nature who was a strong father, a strong businessman and the heart of Pawn Stars. Together, we embarked on an amazing, decade-long journey that bonded us with the Harrison family, created thriving enterprises and, in partnership with History, allowed us to entertain and inform millions around the world. Our 'Old Man' was the true hidden treasure, and all of us at ITV America and Leftfield Pictures offer our deepest gratitude and condolences to Rick, Austin and the extended Harrison and 'Gold and Silver' family."
Austin Russell, aka Chumlee, took to Twitter to remember The Old Man saying, "It's hard to believe he is gone. He was such a big part of my life and treated me like family. I will miss him greatly and carry the lessons he taught me throughout my life. You could always count on him to straighten you out or make you laugh and both of those things I need." Services for Richard Harrison have not yet been announced. You can check out Rick Harrison's Instagram tributes, as well as other social media posts in remembrance of Harrison, for yourself below.