Updated: 07/03/2018 11:48 AM | First Published: 07/03/2018 10:15 AM

What were Pawn Stars doing before they were famous?

Cody Nickson in his military uniform

The reality show, Pawn Stars, which started airing on July 26, 2009, has successfully maintained its position as History Channel’s highest rated show and No. 2 reality show after Jersey Shore.  The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop has been around for more than twice as long as the show, Pawn Stars and this isn’t the Harrison family’s first taste of TV. They showed up in a PBS documentary in 2001. Afterward, HBO tried to snag the family, but they had a fallout with the network after they didn’t like the seedier approach. Finally, History Channel stepped in with a brighter vision and the rest is history of Pawn Stars

The cast members are now famous, but you may be wondering what they were up to before they hit the spotlight as the world’s famous pawnbrokers. We are here with the list of 5 pawn stars and the details of their life before reached stardom.



Richard Rick Kevin Harrison

Rick grew up in North Carolina and dropped out of high school so he could sell knock-off Gucci wallets for about two grand a week. He was not the fantastic bargainer before, but now smiling and shaking hands, he convinces the people maintaining a big margin for himself.

Rick Harrison attends an event. He is wearing a white lining shirt and a black suit. His grey tie looks slightly shifted towards the left. Rick faces straight on the camera with a big smile on his face.

By the age of 23, he had assembled enough amount to partner with his father and opened the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. The shop was opened a couple of miles off the Las Vegas Strip in 1989. He had this idea about the reality show in mind since the very beginning, and luckily History picked it in 2009. Since then, it has consistently maintained the highest ratings. 

What is Pawn Stars Rick Harrison's Net Worth? His Family & Business

Richard Benjamin Harrison aka “The Old Man”

Richard aka The Old Man was brought up in a low-income family. Due to financial constraints, he dropped out of high school to drive a school bus and earn about $5 a week. His life took a drastic turn when he stole a car and faced a judge at the age of 19.

Richard "The Old Man" Harrison's young age picture (left) and old age picture (right)

He stood with two choices either enlist himself in Navy or going to the jail. So, making a smart decision, he joined the Navy and served for 20 years. And later in 1989, he partnered with his son and opened Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. Leaving the past behind, he embraced his glimmering future. Sadly, he passed away on June 25, 2018, at the age of 77 due to complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Richard Benjamin Harrison dies at the age of 77. Here are 5 facts about him

Corey Big Hoss Harrison

Growing up around the pawn shop, Corey started lending hands to his grandfather and father when he was just 9. Unlike The old man and Rick, he completed his high school education. He and Chumlee grew up together and have been best friends ever since.

Corey Harrison wearing a black t-shirt with a wide smile on his face

He worked very hard and made his way to the managerial post where he handles the administrative work. He has even slipped into the role of the owner of the shop and able to get an actual stake in the shop after threatening his father and grandfather to find work elsewhere. His father, Rick has been preparing him to take over the family business ultimately. He is a risk taker which seems to pay him off well. 

How rich is Pawn Stars' Corey "Big Hoss" Harrison? Net Worth in 2017

Austin Chumlee Russell

Chumlee got his nickname from his father who compares him to the walrus character Chumley from the cartoon series, Tennessee Tuxedo. Since then, he is stuck with the name Chumlee. He joined the shop when he was 21, and used to be pretty bad about buying items he wanted to keep for himself, which helped him to collect 200 pairs of Nike and Air Jordans and vintage pinball machines. His expertise in pop culture items has brought in new inventory and clients to the shop. Hence, his contribution at the shop is crucial.

Pawn Stars Chumlee standing on the edge of a balcony, there's a scenic Las Vegas night life behind him

In March 2016, he was arrested for a weapons charge, unlawful possession of a firearm and misdemeanors related to drug possessions, for which he pleaded guilty. However, it did not hamper his work on the show as he remains one of the crucial members of the show and shop. 

Pawn Stars Austin "Chumlee" Russell Car Collection 2018

Who's Richer between Corey Harrison and Chumlee? Check out these Pawn Stars' Net Worth in 2018!

Rebecca Romney

Rebecca can be called a bookworm, who earned her degrees in linguistics and classical studies with a minor in philosophy. Her love towards books has helped her read several languages including, French, Japanese, Latin, old English and many more.

Rebecca Romney at Gold and Silver Pawn Shop holding a book in her hand

Before Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, she worked at Bauman Rare Books in Las Vegas in 2007 and was manager by 2010. She joined the show in its fourth season in 2011 and became the regular expert. She gained an immense popularity through the show and has appeared in about 60 episodes.

Which one of the Pawn Stars cast is your favorite? Let us know in the comments. 

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