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Richard Harrison, better known as 'The Old Man' from the hit reality show 'Pawn Stars,' dies

Richard Harrison / Rick Harrison's Gold & Silver Pawn / Facebook

LAS VEGAS—Richard Harrison, known more by his nickname "The Old Man" from the popular History channel reality series "Pawn Stars," has died. He was 77.

Harrison's death was made public in a Facebook post sent out Monday morning, June 25, on the pawn shop's official Facebook page.

"It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Richard Benjamin Harrison (known as 'The Old Man' to Pawn Stars fans the world over) this morning," the Facebook post reads. "He was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully."

Harrison, along with his son, Rick, opened the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in 1989. The shop would literally become world famous in 2009 after a reality series centered around the pawn shop and its colorful employees made its debut on the History channel in 2009.

Harrison, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a January 2018 interview that being in the entertainment business "was a third career I'd never even imagined: military then real estate then TV star."

The show's success was immediate.

After debuting on July 26, 2009, Pawn Stars became the No. 2 reality show behind MTV's "Jersey Shore." Pawn Stars would eventually go on to become the network's highest-rated show of all time.

In early 2017, Harrison's appearances on the show slowly began to fade as he grew older. As he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he was "semiretired," and was enjoying "spending more time with my wife and grandkids," before joking, "and not working with Corey, Chum and Rick every day."

In total, Pawn Stars has been on television for 15 seasons, and has produced an astounding 522 episodes.

"He will be remembered as the best father, grandfather and great-grandfather you could have by his family and by fans as the sometimes grumpy (always loving, however), often wisecracking, and voice of absolute reason on the History television show "Pawn Stars," the Facebook post reads. 

In a comment on the pawn shop's Facebook post, Thom West may have summed it up the best writing, "The 'old man' played the curmudgeon, but one didn't have to look too deep to see a heart of gold."

Ross Torgerson

Digital Reporter for Forum Communications. Native of Moorhead, Minn. Have a question or story idea? Email me at rtorgerson@forumcomm.com. Follow me on Twitter @RossTorgerson

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