John Schnabel has died this week at the age of 96.
The Gold Rush star reportedly passed away in his sleep, family members reported on Friday.
John Schnabel has died, with the Gold Rush patriarch and legendary Alaskan gold miner passing away at 96.
Schnabel was a popular fixture on the Discovery Channel reality show, with viewers watching as he mentored his grandson Parker as the teenager took a lead role on the show and assumed control of the family’s million-dollar mining operation.
Grandpa Schnabel, as he was known, was beloved by his family members and fans alike.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better father, grandfather and overall family man,” the Schnabel family told People. “He was a true legend and we appreciate all of your love and support as we celebrate his wonderful life.”
The Discovery Channel aired a two-hour special honoring John Schnabel and remembering his relationship with Parker.
A story on the passing of the Gold Rush star can be found here.
John Schnabel is the surprise star of Discovery’s show Gold Rush, but fans on the internet have been clamoring to find out of the 93-year-old miner is dead.
On Friday evening, shortly after the Part 1 of the Gold Rush season finale aired, thousands of fans took to the internet to find out of John Schabel is still alive — which, by all accounts, he certainly is.
The term “John Schnabel dead” rose to the top of searches on AOL, and others on Twitter searched for the status of the legendary Alaskan gold miner.
Schnabel has had scrapes with death before. Near the end of Season 2 of Gold Rush, viewers saw as he suffered a heart attack, though Schnable recovered and went back to the mine as boss while grandson Parker returned to school.
Parker has said he’s learned a lot from his beloved grandfather, including how to be tough in the cutthroat world of gold mining.
“The biggest thing I learned this summer was how to just go for it, not worry about the consequences of what could go wrong, just striking out and going for something, whether it has to do with going up to the Klondike or dealing with people,” Parker said. “I’ve always been scared that somebody was going to quit if we treated them poorly, or I was scared to fire somebody if they weren’t working out. This summer, this all went away. If guys weren’t performing, we fired them. If guys weren’t doing their job, we’d tell them.”
Viewers who were worried whether John Schnabel was dead could have turned to Parker during the finale. The grandson was tweeting some reactions, including shoutouts to his grandfather.
My grandpa is way more of a badass than I’ll ever be #toeshot
— Parker Schnabel (@goldrush_parker) March 8, 2014
So fans can rest assured, John Schnabel is not dead, and he’s apparently still a badass.