Richard Benjamin Harrison, the gruff character known to millions as "The Old Man" on the History Channel's "Pawn Stars," died on Monday after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Harrison, who was 77, grew up in Lexington, N.C..
Harrison's son, Rick, who also stars on the TV show, made the announcement on Instagram.
"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."
With the Instagram post was a photo of the elder Harrison in his sailor's uniform. He was a Navy veteran.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
"Pawn Stars" has been a major hit for the History Channel. It debuted in 2009 and quickly became one of the network's highest-rated shows. It follows the happenings at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas as the employees interact with customers and antique dealers.
The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop released a statement about Harrison's passing on the company Facebook page:
"The team at Gold & Silver Pawn and the Pawn Stars family is grieving his loss. 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.'"
In an interview in 2011, Harrison told the The Dispatch newspaper in Lexington that he had fond memories of growing up in Lexington.
"I had a very happy childhood," he said. He also told them that he received 10 or 12 phone calls a day at the shop from people just wanting to speak to him. They always asked to speak to “The Old Man," he said.