Richard Benjamin Harrison
Television personality
Richard Benjamin Harrison
Richard Benjamin "The Old Man" Harrison, is a Las Vegas businessman and reality television personality, best known as the co-owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, as featured on the History series Pawn Stars. Harrison is co-owner of the pawn shop with his son Richard Kevin Harrison, which they founded together in the year 1988, when the elder Harrison was 47.
Biography
Richard Benjamin Harrison's personal information overview.
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Timeline
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2012
    Age 70
    On May 29, 2012, Harrison was awarded a key to the city of Lexington, his hometown, by Lexington Mayor Clark Newell, in the Lexington City Council Chamber, and the day was also officially "Richard Harrison's Day".
    More Details Hide Details On July 17, 2012, the Clark County Commission declared that day to be "Pawn Stars/Gold & Silver Pawn Day". At the Commission meeting, Harrison donated $1,000 to the Clark County Museum, and lent the U.S. Senate floor chair used by Senator Patrick McCarran (sold to the Gold and Silver in the Pawn Stars episode "Take a Seat") to the museum as part of a display on Senator McCarran.
    Harrison and the other stars of Pawn Stars served as grand marshals for the History 300 NASCAR race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2012.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1988
    Age 46
    When the lease expired in 1988, Harrison and his son Rick founded what would become the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop at 713 Las Vegas Boulevard South, located less than two miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
    More Details Hide Details The most common item brought into the store is jewelry. As of July 2011, the store has 12,000 items in its inventory, 5,000 of which are typically held on pawn. According to episodes of Pawn Stars, Harrison is the first to arrive at the shop in the morning, and has not had a sick day since 1994. Since July 19, 2009 Harrison and his son, Rick, along with his grandson Richard Corey "Big Hoss" Harrison and Corey's childhood friend and employee Austin "Chumlee" Russell, have featured in the reality television program Pawn Stars on the History Channel. Harrison is depicted as saying little and easily angered. Harrison himself indicates: "My role on the show is to be an old grump." Within ten weeks of its debut, Pawn Stars was the highest rated program on the History channel, and second highest rated reality show program behind Jersey Shore. In that same period the average number of customers in the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop increased from 70 to 700 per day. By February 2012 between 3,000 to 5,000 people visited the store each day.
  • 1987
    Age 45
    In 1987 he obtained a license to buy and sell second-hand goods.
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  • 1986
    Age 44
    In 1986 he relocated the business to a larger building at 413 Fremont Street.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1981
    Age 39
    With only $5,000, in April 1981, Harrison and his wife and three sons moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he opened Gold & Silver Coin Shop in a 300 square foot shop at 1501 Las Vegas Boulevard.
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    Declining real estate sales caused by interest rates as high as 18 percent cost Harrison $1,000,000 and the collapse of this business in 1981.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1970
    Age 28
    Harrison continued to serve in the Navy, while JoAnne obtained her real estate licence in 1970 and opened her own office in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details After Harrison was discharged from the Navy, he worked part-time in his wife's office.
  • 1967
    Age 25
    In 1967 Harrison was transferred by the Navy to San Diego, California.
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  • 1962
    Age 20
    Harrison left the Navy in February 1962, but re-enlisted fourteen months later in order to obtain the health care benefits necessary to meet his daughter Sherry's medical expenses.
    More Details Hide Details Eventually Harrison served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, including stints as a paymaster, and attaining the rate of Petty officer, first class. Harrison served on four ships, including his final five years on fleet tug ATF 100 USS Chowanoc.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1960
    Age 18
    In 1960 Harrison married JoAnne Rhue, the daughter of a county judge, who later became one of the lead attorneys for Philip Morris in North Carolina.
    More Details Hide Details They had four children: one daughter, and three sons. Their daughter, Sherry, was born with Down's Syndrome soon after their marriage. She died when she was 6 years old. Their other children are Joseph, Richard Kevin Harrison (born 1965) and Chris. Harrison is particularly passionate about automobiles, showing an interest in all types of cars, including his 1966 Chrysler Imperial (which took him fifteen years to convince the previous owner to sell; the engine burst into flames on the set of one episode of Pawn Stars but was repaired), which his son and grandson had restored for his 50th wedding anniversary, a 1957 Chevy 150 sedan given to Harrison by the stars of two other History shows, American Restoration and American Pickers (it overheated and caught fire too, but was also restored) and the mid-1960s B&Z Electra-King electric car shown to them in "Honest Abe", which he suggested could be converted into a golf cart.
  • 1958
    Age 16
    In October 1958 Harrison enlisted in the United States Navy to avoid imprisonment for auto theft.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1941
    Born
    Born on March 4, 1941.
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