What were Pawn Stars doing before they were famous?
The reality show Pawn Stars aired on July 26, 2009, has successfully maintained its position as History Channel’s highest-rated 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 the 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 reaching stardom.
Richard Rick Kevin Harrison from Pawn Stars
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 to maintain a big margin for himself.
By the age of 23, he had assembled enough amount to partner with his father and open the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. The shop was opened a few miles off the Las Vegas Strip in 1989. He had this idea about the reality show in mind from the beginning, and luckily History picked it in 2009. Since then, it has consistently maintained the highest ratings.
Pawn Stars’s Richard Benjamin Harrison, aka “The Old Man”
Richard, aka The Old Man, was raised 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 19.
He stood with two choices: enlist in the Navy or go to 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.
Corey Big Hoss Harrison from the TV show Pawn Stars
Growing up around the pawn shop, Corey started lending hands to his grandfather and father when he was 9. Unlike The old man and Rick, he completed his high school education. Corey and Chumlee grew up together and have been best friends ever since.
Harrison worked hard and made his way to the managerial post, where he handled the administrative work. Moreover, he has even slipped into the role of the owner of the shop and can 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 ultimately take over the family business. He is a risk-taker which seems to pay him off well.
Austin Chumlee Russell from the Pawn Stars
Chumlee got his nickname from his father, who compares him to the walrus character Chumley from the cartoon series Tennessee Tuxedo. Since then, he has been stuck with the name Chumlee. When he was 21, he joined the shop and used to be pretty bad about buying items he wanted to keep for himself, which helped him 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 to the shop is crucial.
In March 2016, he was arrested for a weapons charge, unlawful firearm possession, and misdemeanors related to drug possession, 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’s Rebecca Romney
Rebecca can be called a bookworm who earned her degrees in linguistics and classical studies with a minor in philosophy. Her love for books has helped her read several languages, including French, Japanese, Latin, Old English and many more.
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 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.