Pawn Stars personality and owner of Rick Harrison’s Gold & Silver Coin Shop Richard “Old Man” Harrison passed away on June, 25, 2018, after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was laid to rest in Las Vegas on Sunday, with a funeral and public viewing for his fans.
According to USA Today, in honor of his 20 years of Navy service, Harrison’s casket was draped with an American flag during a private ceremony. During the public viewing, a photo of him with his wife of 58 years, JoAnne, was displayed. Harrison is survived by sons Joseph, Rick and Chris Harrison, 10 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren as well as JoAnne.
Rick posted about his father’s passing on Instagram, with a heartfelt tribute to his late father.
Born in Danville, Virginia, in 1941, Harrison spent his youth in Lexington, North Carolina. At the age of 14 he dropped out of school and began driving a school bus to help support his family. Prior to marrying his wife Joanne in 1960, Harrison was caught stealing a car. When given the option of military service or jail, he chose to join the Navy. It was a career he would give 20 years of his life to.
Harrison and his son, Rick, opened their world-famous Las Vegas pawn shop in 1989. In 2009, his grandson Richard Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and Corey’s friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell joined the business, and Pawn Stars was born. Harrison appeared on the History Channel reality show for 15 seasons over a 10-year span.
The History Channel also mourned the TV star, issuing a statement for his family and fans.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Richard ‘The Old Man’ Harrison, a beloved member of the HISTORY and Pawn Stars family. He will be greatly missed for his wisdom and candor. Our thoughts are with the Harrison family during this difficult time.”
Other celebrities and VIPs joined in on Twitter in remembrance, including actor Russell Crowe and the mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn G. Goodman.
According to News 3 Las Vegas, family spokeswoman and publicist Laura Herlovich reminisced fondly about Harrison.
“He was so special and he was the heart and soul of this whole operation. He maybe gone but he’s left a piece of him with all of us,” she said, adding, “I made him laugh one day. He’s hard to make laugh. I don’t know what I said but I made him laugh and his smile was the cutest smile ever. I felt so accomplished all day. I was like oh man I made the old man laugh!”