"Pawn Stars" fans around the world are now mourning the loss of Richard Harrison. Harrison was the patriarch and part owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn shop in Las Vegas, where the History Channel show is filmed. The popular show featured three generations of Harrisons and a family friend checking out historical artifacts for their Las Vegas pawn shop.

Rick Harrison announced Richard Harrison's death

Harrison took to Instagram to announce the death of his father at the age of 77, in his loving tribute to his father.

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First, Rick announced that his father Richard Benjamin "The Old Man" Harrison passed with his family near him. Affectionately calling his dad his "hero," he eulogized him eloquently.

Rick went on to add that his father lived a "full life" and many got to know him through the History television show "Pawn Stars." What did Richard Harrison die of? According to a second Instagram post by son Rick Harrison, The Old Man died of Parkinson's disease.

The Old Man was related to President Benjamin Harrison

Richard Benjamin Harrison boasted on "Pawn Stars" that their family was related to President Benjamin Harrison, despite rumors, including his wife JoAnne telling grandson Corey Harrison he was not so sure that they were related to Harrison's paternal grandfather, William Henry Harrison. Perhaps one day the Harrisons will clear this up.

Richard Benjamin Harrison was born in 1941 in Virginia, but when he was a teen, his family eventually moved to North Carolina. Not long after he met the woman that was to become his wife, he was forced to join the Navy to avoid jail time after stealing a car. After Richard Harrison satisfied the requirements of his military duty, he found himself re-enlisted. His oldest child Sherry was born with Down Syndrome. So, in order to afford paying for health care, he remained with the military even after she tragically died at the age of six.

Eventually he and his wife JoAnne went into real estate in California, but when the market crashed in the early 80s, the couple reportedly lost a million dollars. Soon, he took JoAnne and his three sons (Joseph, Rick and Chris) and headed to Las Vegas where dreams come true. In 1988, he and his son Rick Harrison opened up the now-famous pawn shop.

It was just 21 years later that Rick was able to convince producers that a show about a pawn shop would be worth a shot.

Now, nine years and 500 episodes later, "Pawn Stars" is a fan favorite throughout the world.

On "Pawn Stars," Richard Harrison was the affable, curmudgeonly patriarch of the family. He always wanted to eat dessert, take a nap on his chair and tell Corey and Chumlee about the good old days. He loved cars and there were a couple of special episodes of the show where the "Counting Cars" guys gussied up a classic car. Fans loved to hear his tales and see his bright smile.

The Harrison family created something long lasting. Now the pawn shop is a Vegas landmark, visited by thousands each day. They have gone from less than a dozen staff to over 50 employees. The shop made Harrison a lot of money too. When he died he was worth $5 million.

Over the past few years, Richard Harrison was the subject of many celebrity death hoaxes

In the last two seasons of "Pawn Stars" the Old Man appeared only in a "reduced role" which further fueled the death hoaxes. This is no hoax. Richard Harrison has died, and fans around the world are mourning his death. Although Rick Harrison has gone public with the announcement, the family does ask for privacy now.