** WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN THE CAMERAS STOP ROLLING ON DEADLIEST CATCH?

 

Since 2005, Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch has been a fan favorite. The show has chronicled the harrowing moments, the humor, and the unexpected tragedies of the Bering Sea’s most fearless crab fishermen. But just how well do you know the series and cast? The cameras have to stop rolling at some point, and, for the captains and crew, most of the drama happens off the boat.

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Source: Discover Channel

From what actually happened to Elliott Neese, to remembering Captain Phil Harris and drama between other fishing boats not sponsored by Discovery Channel, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a peek at what really happens when the cameras aren’t filming Deadliest Catch!

Crab Fishing Is More Dangerous Than You Think

Anyone who watches the show knows that crab fishing can be dangerous. But just how dangerous is it? In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked crab fishing as the deadliest job in America by a long shot. It is almost 75 percent more deadly in the next two jobs on their list: pilots and loggers.

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Photo by Discovery Network / Kobal / Shutterstock

It is also believed that one fisherman dies per week during a crab fishing season, which is usually from October to January. The fishermen use heavy machinery to catch crabs while trying to stay afloat on the choppy (and don’t forget freezing) waters of the Bering Sea. If the heavy machinery doesn’t kill you, then hyperthermia or drowning will.

You Either Love or Hate the Camera Crew

Can you imagine someone sticking their camera in your face every day while you tried to work? I can’t, and I work at a desk with a computer. Imagine being out at sea and narrowly escaping death daily, but with a whole camera crew. It doesn’t sound very fun, does it?

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Source: Discovery Channel

The crab fishing season is a few weeks long and if the fishermen don’t leave the boats, neither do the cameramen. Captain “Wild Bill,” Wichrowski said that the fishermen are forced to know the camera crew since they spend so much time together in close quarters. “You either grow to really like these guys or not. It’s one way or the other,” he says.

Blake Painter Didn’t Quit

Captain Blake Painter’s sudden absence from the show has puzzled fans over the years. The show’s producers made it seem like he just up and left when office politics and the workload became too much. But after doing some digging, we found that simply was not the case.

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Source: Discovery Channel

While the show made it seem like Painter quit the Maverick suddenly, he actually stayed in charge of the ship until the end of the fishing season. After the fishing season, he went to take care of his father, who had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment. When the captain was asked to return for Season three, he told them no. After some convincing, however, he agreed but felt like the show was too fake for his liking.

Overcoming Trials and Tribulations

The current captain of Saga, Jake Anderson, may seem like he has his life in order now, but it wasn’t always like that. He has been through a lot in his life. Anderson’s addiction to alcohol and drugs left him homeless for two years. To make matters worse, his family has a tragic past. In the fifth season episode, Bitter Tears, Anderson was notified off camera that his sister, Chelsea, had unexpectedly died.

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Source: Discovery Channel

But it didn’t end there. During the show’s next season, Anderson was notified that his father, Keith, was presumed dead after his truck was found abandoned. Then, in 2012, a hiker stumbled across his father’s skeletal remains, just a mile away from where his car was found. While Anderson believes his father was murdered, nothing has been confirmed.

Keep ‘Em Rolling!

Phil Harris, the late captain of the Cornelia Marie, didn’t want the cameras to stop, ever. He had been a constant fixture on the show since it started filming in 2004. But in the Season 6 episode, Blown off Course, Harris suffered a massive stroke while offloading crabs. According to Thom Beers, the show’s creator and producer, Harris knew the cameras were on him. And he was okay with that.

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Photo by Discovery Network / Kobal / Shutterstock

“We’ve got to have an end to the story,” Harris told Beers. “You want to film this film this.” The producer honored the captain’s wishes and continued to film as he was airlifted to Anchorage, Alaska. As soon as Harris arrived at the hospital, doctors performed emergency brain surgery.

One Heck of a Man

When Harris first awoke from brain surgery, he was doing great given the circumstances. He could squeeze hands and talk, which stunned doctors. They said that the improvements the captain was making in just mere days were something that usually took stroke victims months. But, sadly, the excitement was short-lived.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

The brain surgery extended Harris’ life for a few days, but it wasn’t enough to save him. After spending 11 days in the intensive care unit, Harris passed away. His stroke was the most traumatic moment in Deadliest Catch history, leaving fans in absolute shock. Just a few hours after his death, fans had written over 75 pages of condolences on the show’s website. He truly was one heck of a man!

Captains Have a Hard Time Watching

Many Hollywood actors can’t watch themselves in their own films. Sometimes it’s self-consciousness, but many times it’s perfectionism. Well, the captains have their own reasons for not liking the show, and, for these guys, living through a crab season once is enough.

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Josh and Jake Harris. Source: Pinterest

The job is so stressful and dangerous that the captains would rather not live through it a second time. Captain Sig Hansen has to watch it alone because he becomes so invested in the episodes. Josh Harris has his own reasons. The captain hasn’t tuned in to Deadliest Catch since his father, Captain Phil Harris, passed away in 2012. The show reminds him of his dad’s tragic and unexpected passing.

The Camera Crew Have a Hard Time

A crab fisherman puts his life on the line every time he goes out to sea. Since Deadliest Catch is a reality show, crew members are everywhere the crabbers are, even if that means in the face of danger. Working on the show is a risk, and brushes with death are a daily occurrence. And during the show’s earlier seasons, the camera crew had little to no experience on crab fishing boats.

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Source: Pinterest

The captain of the Northwestern, Sig Hansen, told Jimmy Kimmel that he actually saved a cameraman’s life while filming the first season. A 900-pound crab pot began swinging from a crane, and the oblivious cameraman was standing directly in its path. Had Hansen not screamed at the cameraman to move, he would have been killed.

There’s a Bank Robber Among Us!

Joshua Tel Warner, a greenhorn on the Wizard, had appeared in the first nine episodes of the show’s first season. Fans may remember him as the guy who was always fighting with the other crewmen. But for Oregon law enforcement, Warner is just another fugitive. For those who don’t know, Warner was involved in a string of bank robberies from 2007 to 2009.

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Source: Pinterest / YouTube

Apparently, a Deadliest Catch fan in Oregon recognized the fisherman’s face after the local news aired surveillance footage of the robberies. “I don’t think you can end up on national TV, make a spectacle of yourself, and not end up getting caught for three bank robberies,” Detective Jeff Donaca said during a press conference.

Sig Has His Own Set of Legal Problems

The heavy hand of the law has long haunted a number of fishermen from Deadliest Catch. In 2017, it caught up with Captain Sig Hansen. No, it wasn’t related to drugs, but alcohol did play a part. It all started when Hansen accidentally canceled his ride on the Uber app, while still in the car.

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June and Sig Hansen. Photo by AFF-USA / Shutterstock

This meant that the Uber driver wouldn’t get paid if he continued the trip. So, he asked Hansen, who was heavily intoxicated, if he could re-request the ride on the app. Hansen refused and offered the driver cash instead, which Uber doesn’t accept. It all went downhill from there. The captain began screaming at the driver, spitting on him and kicking his car. Hansen was arrested and put on probation for a year.

Crab Fishing Pays the Big Bucks

At first glance, crabbing captains and their crews look like regular, blue-collar Americans. There’s nothing glamorous about these guys and their job, right? Well, that’s not exactly true. Deadliest Catch members make some serious cash doing what they do. Crewmen can earn $15,000 a month, with captains double that amount, according to the Alaska Fishing Employment Center.

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Photo by Discovery Network / Kobal / Shutterstock

Captain “Wild Bill” Wichrowski, for example, has been working as a crab fisher since 1979. He has worked as a boat electrician, a naval engineer, and a crab fisherman. Now, “Wild Bill” is the captain of the Summer Bay. Today, his net worth is around $3 million, and that’s all from his commercial fishing business. Not too bad, not too bad at all.

Drama Means Good Ratings

What’s a good story without a villain? Whether it’s a book, movie, or show, a bad guy always makes things much more interesting. They give the storylines more conflict and tension, which translates into better ratings. Because, let’s be honest, who would watch a completely drama-free show? Like with all reality TV shows, producers try to paint certain cast members in an unflattering light.

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Photo by Mediapunch, Shutterstock / Rick Gerson, Discovery Channel

But lucky for them, some stars on Deadliest Catch do the work for them. The first bad guy on the show was Captain Keith Colburn, and next came “Wild Bill.” And while these two went on to become fan favorites, audiences had a hard time accepting villain Elliott Neese. The tattooed captain went AWOL after relapsing and abruptly leaving the show.

Not Everyone Is a Fan

With 51 Emmy Awards nominations and 16 wins (as of Season 15), Deadliest Catch is one of the Discovery Channel’s biggest hits. The show has loyal fans worldwide, all waiting to tune in to see what kind of danger the crab fishermen are going to get themselves into next. But there is one place in particular where it’s hard to find someone who likes the show. That place is Alaska.

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Photo by Thomas Sbampato / imageBROKER / Shutterstock

Many local commercial fishermen have struggled to make a living since the show has premiered. They have complained that the 70 other boats can’t compete for a good catch. Since the Discovery Channel funds the show’s fishing exhibitions, crews that don’t participate end up making minimum wage. There’s only so many crabs to go around!

The Tattooed Captain

Elliott Neese is a guy fans love to hate. Fans even created a change.org petition to have him removed from the show. It was that bad. The fans got their wish because the tattooed captain of the Saga abandoned his ship in Season 11 and hasn’t appeared on the show since.

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Photo by Rick Gerson / Discovery Channel

The former captain doesn’t post that often on social media, except for the occasional fishing trip picture in Fiji or showing off his workout gains. But whether he will ever return to Deadliest Catch is still up in the air. The show’s executive producer Decker Watson tweeted back in 2017 that he tried getting Neese back on the show for Season 13, but not everyone was quite ready to have him back.

Gone Too Soon

Fans around the world mourned the loss of former captain, Blake Painter, back in 2018. The former Capitan was found in his home in Oregon by a friend who went to check on Painter. While the toxicology report was never shared with the public, there were reports of several types of drugs found at the scene when paramedics arrived.

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Blake Painter. Source: MSN.com

Although Painter’s friends say the former captain was “sober and happy” in the months leading up to his death, he had been caught using drugs before. Although many people wonder what drove the 38-year-old to use drugs, we do know that the fisherman was in pain because of his physically demanding job. He suffered from a condition called “the claw,” carpal tunnel, and a bad back and shoulders.

How Much Is Scripted?

Reality TV is often seen as anything but real, and Deadliest Catch is no exception. Former Captain Elliot Neese accused the show of turning him into a villain for ratings, and some of the show’s captains claim that much of the drama was written into scripts.

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Photo by Discovery Network / Kobal / Shutterstock

The show also makes it seem like boats are alone at sea, but, in reality, there are hundreds of boats. There have also been rumors that many of the wildest scenes on the show are, in fact, reshoots. Apparently, crab fishermen actually have a lot of downtime, which is mostly spent reshooting certain scenes so that the cameramen can get the right shot. Hmm, it doesn’t seem so real to me!

Not a Real Strom

Deadliest Catch’s first and biggest blunder took place during its fourth season when it was revealed that a major storm wasn’t as intense as it appeared to be on the show. It all started when one of the show’s boats began to flood. But that’s not exciting! Where’s the drama? Where’s the footage of fishermen fighting for their lives?

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Photo by Discovery Network / Kobal / Shutterstock

So the production crew waited until there was a thunderous storm, filmed it, and added it to the boat’s flooding footage. After watching the show, die-hard fans knew that the two events happened a month apart because, hey, anyone can look up the weather report and see that there wasn’t a storm when the show said there was. While all of the footage was real, producers took artistic license and stretched the definition of reality.

Three Different Narrators?

Narrators can really take a show or movie to new heights. Try to imagine The Shawshank Redemption without Morgan Freeman and his narration. The film wouldn’t be the same, would it? Americans love Mike Row’s voice that guides us through each episode of Deadliest Catch. But did you know that international viewers don’t get to hear Discovery Channel’s most beloved narrator?

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Source: Twitter

In the UK, for example, Bill Petrie reads a slightly different script that appeals more to a British audience. On the other side of the globe, voice artist Nasir Bilal Khan narrates for Malaysian audiences. But why? Discovery Channel has reasoned that audiences prefer the show when it’s in their own dialect.

Way Too Small!

If you’re working as a crab fisherman, you better make sure that you’re doing your job right. In addition to his other legal issues, Captain Elliott Neese was slapped with a $6,000 fine for undersized crabs. Back in November 2014, Alaskan officials investigated Neese’s boat and found 13 small “bugs.”

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Source: Discovery Channel

Everyone knows this is a rookie mistake and a major no-no, especially if you’re fishing professionally for the entire world to see. The captain pleaded guilty, and his fine was slashed to $3,000. That’s still a hefty fine for someone who should have known better. Neese complained that his negative portrayal on the show is what made Alaskan officials bring the heat.

Never-Ending Troubles

While everyone on the show has their troubles, there is one cast member in particular who has had it harder than the rest: Jake Harris. The younger son of Captain Phil Harris first had to cope with the loss of his father while being filmed. But his struggles didn’t end there. In the decade following his father’s untimely death, Harris survived a gruesome mugging and then was arrested for stealing his girlfriend’s car a few months later.

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Source: Maricopa County Sheriff

Then in 2019, Harris was involved in a police chase. The cops eventually caught him and found illegal substances in his pockets. In August 2019, the former fisherman was sentenced to 18 months in jail. Jake’s brother Josh remains hopeful that he will turn his life around after being released.

Discovery Channel Will Sue You

Captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand of Time Bandit filmed a TV special back in 2010 titled Hillstranded. The idea behind the one-time special was to give fans a glimpse into the fishermen’s lives when they’re off the boat. But when the Hillstrand brothers failed to show up for their scheduled interviews and voice-overs, things went south pretty quickly.

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Source: Pinterest

Discovery sued the brothers for a whopping $3 million! The network claimed that it would lose a substantial amount of money if the project wasn’t completed, but the Hillstrands’ lawyer claimed that wasn’t true. He called the network arrogant and greedy and accused it of bullying the brothers. Filming interviews would have interfered with their fishing schedule.

The Show Takes Filming Seriously

Being a five-time Emmy Award winner is no small feat. This must mean that the cameramen are doing something right. So how exactly do they get such good visuals for the show? First of all, it’s not easy. The production team uses several different cameras, including drones and cameras, specifically engineered for underwater. Sometimes they even use helicopters and cameramen on chase boats.

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Source: Discovery Channel

The show also destroys more than a dozen cameras each season because of the conditions out at sea. By the end of shooting, editors are presented with over 30,000 hours of film, 20 of which actually make it on to the show. So, you’ll never see most of what they film.

Deadliest Catch isn’t the only reality show that has dominated the headlines in recent years. History Channel’s Pawn Stars has been making the rounds, especially after fans found out Old Man Harrison’s final wishes…

FANS WERE SURPRISED TO HEAR PAWN STAR’S FINAL WISHES

Richard “Old Man” Harrison was the founder of the world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Over the years, the shop has gathered quite a reputation for being the best in the business. After years of trying to get a reality TV show deal, the shop was finally approached by The History Channel, and the rest is, well, history.

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Richard Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

Millions of fans worldwide tuned in to watch the inner-workings of the Harrison clan and their 24-hour pawn shop. When Harrison passed away in 2018, his family and fans were devastated. However, they were shocked to learn some of his final wishes.

Keep reading to learn how Richard Harrison built his multi-million dollar business from the ground up and about his puzzling final wishes.

Humble Beginnings

Although Harrison wasn’t always business-oriented, he was definitely always fond of cars. So fond that before he started his business venture in Sin City, he committed some sins of his own. Right before his marriage, Harrison was caught trying to steal a car.

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Richard Harrison. Source: Twitter

He was arrested, and the judge gave him an ultimatum: Serve time in prison or draft into the United States Military. Harrison was not so keen on going to jail, so he decided to draft into the Navy. Well, the Navy’s discipline and structure did Harrison well, and he surprisingly served for a total of two decades. He achieved the rank of petty officer first class (PO1) before he was discharged.

Always a Family Man

When Harrison was 17 years old, he met his future wife, Joanne Rhue, at a barn dance in 1958. The pair wed two years later, right after Harrison enlisted in the US military. Joanne became pregnant almost immediately after the wedding and gave birth to a baby girl named Sherry.

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Richard and Joanne Harrison. Source: Pinterest

At the time of Sherry’s birth, Harrison was serving in the Navy. He wanted to spend more time with his wife and their newborn baby girl, so he left the Navy in 1962. Sadly, the rough times in Harrison’s life were far from over. Sherry was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome at birth. Harrison loved staying home with his growing family, but the medical bills started piling up.

A Hard Loss

Harrison understood that he needed to find a way to support his family. So, he did what any dad in this situation would do and reenlisted into the Navy. The new father understood that the military’s family medical package would cover all of Sherry’s medical bills. So, a little more than a year after he was released, Harrison officially rejoined the Navy.

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Source: Shutterstock

Sadly, after various complications, Sherry passed away when she was only six years old. According to the Pawn Stars Wiki, she was laid to rest at Forest Hill Memorial Park in North Carolina. The loss of their only daughter was hard for Harrison and his wife, so they decided it was time for a change.

Moving to Real Estate

In 1967, Harrison was transferred to a Navy base in San Diego, California. He remained in the Navy until he was released in 1976. The change of scenery did the Harrison family well. Despite the untimely death of their daughter, Harrison and his wife wanted to grow their family.

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Joanne, Richard, and their children. Source: Twitter

During his twenty years in the Navy, the Harrisons welcomed three baby boys into their family: Joseph, Rick, and Chris. Having three boys to take care of was a lot, but the kids weren’t the only thing Joanne focused on. It was important for Joanne to have a career, so while her husband was serving in the Navy, she obtained her real estate license.

Hitting Roadblocks

Three years after obtaining her license, Joanne opened her own real estate office. Once Harrison was released from the Navy in 1976, he teamed up with his wife and worked at her office part-time. Sadly, the Harrison family was about to go through another round of tough times.

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Richard Harrison. Source: Instagram

The real estate market was hit hard in the late ’70s, which directly impacted Joanne’s business. They tried to keep their business afloat, but they began to amass large amounts of debt because of high-interest rates. At one point, the couple found themselves owing a whopping one million dollars. Harrison understood that he was going to have to find a solution and fast.

A Much Needed Move

Harrison believed that yet another change in scenery would do his family some good. So, in 1981 they packed up their belongings and moved to Las Vegas, with their three boys in tow. Little did Harrison know that this move was going to mark the beginning of his family empire. With only $5,000 to his name, Harrison decided to try his hand as a business owner.

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Source: Instagram

He and his son Rick opened up their first pawnshop called Gold & Silver Coin Shop. As you can understand from the name, the shop dealt with mostly gold and silver. It was originally located on Las Vegas Boulevard, but after a few years, Harrison’s business was doing so well that he moved into a larger building located on Fremont Street.

The Secret to Success

Today, buying and selling items on the Internet is such a normal thing. It’s hard to imagine that just a few decades ago, this was barely on our radars. Before smartphones and online shopping were a thing, people bought, sold, and negotiated prices for personal belongings at pawn and trade shops.

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Source: Instagram

We also have to remember that the owners of pawnshops couldn’t just Google the price or the history of a customer’s item. This meant that the appraisers and traders had to know everything about anything. This is what made a successful pawnshop. If the shop couldn’t get enough money for the items people brought in, then it couldn’t hand out loans to its clients, and the entire business would fail.

Trying His Luck

Although the Gold & Silver Coin Shop focused on coins, Harrison understood that if he wanted to grow his business, he would have to expand his area of expertise. In 1987, Harrison obtained his license to buy and sell second-hand goods, which completely changed his business’s direction. He invested $10,000 to revamp his business and hit the books.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

To succeed, Harrison needed to learn all about all sorts of items, and fast. From vintage items like cars to high-end jewelry like Rolex watches, Harrison learned a lot about his products. But gaining an incredibly massive amount of knowledge wasn’t the only skill he sharpened before earning the spot as the best in the business.

Like Father, Like Son

Yes, Harrison cared about his growing business, but he was, first and foremost, a family man. While Harrison was sharpening his skills as a knowledgeable appraiser, he was also becoming closer to his son, Rick. Over the next few years, his teenage son followed him around the shop, taking in Harrison’s sales expertise like a sponge.

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Rick Harrison. Source: Imgur

The duo focused on sharpening their negotiation skills and soon became the trademark for a dynamic duo. Together, they formed a sort of good cop/bad cop routine to buy high-valued items for as low of a price as possible. In some ways, this act was the trademark of Harrison’s shop and his eventual reality show.

An Early Start

Rick’s love for negotiating and pawning began when he was a young kid. When Rick was eight years old, he suffered a series of epileptic seizures. Because of this, he spent months in bed. To pass the time, he read countless books. It is rumored that the children’s series, The Great Brain, is what actually inspired Rick to sharpen his sales skills.

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Source: Amazon

The series is about a ten-year-old boy who comes up with ways to save the day while making some money in the process. As Rick grew older, he began to read more, and, like his father, he gained an impressive amount of knowledge in a short amount of time. Then, when he was 13 years old, Rick joined his father at the shop.

Key to Success

The key to Harrison’s success wasn’t just his knowledge about products and his negotiation skills. Harrison, who was later nicknamed the Old Man, was a natural at recognizing the true value of a product. He was known at the shop as the “king of purchasing underpriced merchandise.”

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Rick Harrison. Source: Imgur

Even before becoming big stars on The History Channel, Harrison and his son Rick were praised as some of the best in the business. Harrison was a great appraiser, while Rick was a natural-born hustler. But, in 1988, Harrison was left at a crossroads. The lease for his shop came to an end, and Harrison had to make an important decision that would affect his family.

The World Famous Pawn Shop

Harrison had finally found his calling. He loved everything in the pawning world, and his sons started showing interest in the business. On top of that, his business was in the perfect location, Las Vegas, which was a hub for thousands of people from all walks of life. There’s no doubt that he encountered all types of artifacts and antique items with interesting backstories.

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Richard, Core, Chumlee, and Rick Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

So the Old Man decided to keep his business going. After his lease came to an end, Harrison moved his shop to another location, just outside the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. This location is what would become the world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, which is famously featured on his reality show, Pawn Stars.

A Complete Turn-Around

Not only did Harrison move his shop into a larger space, but he also expanded the types of items that his shop-bought and sold. Like I mentioned before, instead of focusing only on gold and silver coins, Harrison and his employees focused on anything worth a pretty penny.

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Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

The most common item that was brought into the pawnshop was jewelry. With his new storefront, Harrison was ready to expand his business even more. Decades later, the store is still standing, tall and proud. Starting with only $5,000 in the early ’80s, Harrison completely turned his life around. He created a multi-million dollar business with a vast stock of inventory in the late ’00.

Strong Family Bond

The world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop’s reputation was based on the father-son bond between Harrison and Rick, their negotiation and appraising skills, and their large inventory. While it’s pretty common to take over the family business once your parents retire, it isn’t always such a good idea.

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Rick and Corey Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

However, the Harrisons proved time and time again that their family bond is stronger than ever. After a few years, Harrison and Rick decided to bring on another member to the team. It seems that a love for sales and negotiation runs in the Harrison family. It turned out that Rick’s son (and Harrison’s grandson) took a special interest in the family’s pawn business.

A Growing Business

When Rick’s son Corey was only nine years old, he became interested in the family business. He started helping out his father and grandfather at the store and soon became a full-time employee. Corey eventually brought his childhood friend, Austin “Chumlee” Russell, to join the team. The animated staff created quite a reputation around town.

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Source: Instagram

The Las Vegas locals loved that the pawnshop was run by three different generations and fell in love with each of the workers’ outrageous personalities. Pretty soon, the whole world would get a glimpse into the world of Harrison’s pawn shop. So, just how did Harrison go from business owner to one of America’s favorite reality TV stars? Well, it all started with Rick.

Pawn Stars

Rick came up with the idea of documenting the day-to-day inner workings of his family’s pawnshop business. He knew that everyone would fall in love with his family and the crazy items people brought it. Rick also knew that the publicity would really help his family’s business and they would make even more money.

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Rick Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

But while Harrison’s son knew it was a good idea, it took him a while to convince TV networks. The directors at these networks didn’t think that people would actually tune in to see four guys working in a pawn shop. Oh, but were they wrong! No one could have anticipated how successful this show would be.

The Road to Stardom

Audiences first got a glimpse of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop during a PBS documentary that debuted in 2001. Two years later, the shop was featured in Comedy Central’s Insomniac with Dave Attell. Rick also worked a bit with producers from HBO, but the reality show ultimately found its home at The History Channel. When the first episode premiered in 2009, audiences immediately fell in love.

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Corey, Rick, and Richard Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

During its first year, it was the second most popular show on TV (behind MTV’s Jersey Shore). However, other pawn shops criticized the show for its entertainment value. They said that it wasn’t typical for pawn shops to have such extravagant items brought to them. Regardless of the criticism, the show gathered a large following because the employees were so relatable. An episode that aired in 2011 was watched by over 7 million viewers!

Inspiring Life Story

Richard Harrison’s story is truly inspiring. While he had a rough start, his drive and kind spirit kept him going. He started a business with only a few grand to his name and turned it into one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Las Vegas. Harrison was a dedicated family man who proved time and time again that he would do anything to provide a nice life for his family.

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Richard Harrison on his 71st birthday. Source: Shutterstock

But after a life of ups and downs, Harrison was faced with one final challenge. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Everyone, both family and friends, were incredibly saddened by the diagnosis. The Old Man sadly passed away in June 2018 at the age of 77.

A Legend Lost

After his father’s passing, Rick wrote on Instagram, “He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor. We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers and ask that we are provided some privacy at this time.”

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Richard Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

This was an emotional time for everyone, but many fans were stunned at Harrison’s final wishes. When he first wrote his will, he included his wife and all three of his sons as beneficiaries. But in the year before his death, Harrison made some slight changes that shocked everyone. There are a few unanswered questions that linger.

A Change in the Will

Upon reading Harrison’s will, fans noticed that he left one of his sons out if it. According to a section of the legal document that was released to the public, Harrison wrote, “I would like to express my love and affection for Christopher Keith Harrison; however, for purposes of this will, I have intentionally and with full knowledge failed to provide for him and his issue.”

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Chumlee, Richard, Rick, and Corey Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

For reasons unknown to the public, Harrison decided to leave his youngest son, Chris, out of the will. Many fans of the show had most likely never heard of Chris until Harrison’s death and the release of his will. Chris was the only member of the Harrison family who did not follow his father’s footsteps into pawning.

A Son Forgotten

While Rick and the rest of the Harrison family have not released the exact reasons why the Old Man left his youngest son out of the will, they did say that this decision did not come as a surprise. The Harrisons said that this was discussed before Harrison’s passing.

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Source: Instagram

Although Harrison left his youngest son out of the will, he did go on to write that “I would like to express my love and affection for Christopher Keith Harrison.” It seems that Harrison and his son were not on bad terms, and the rest of the family stood by his ultimate decision. So why did he decide to refuse his son an inheritance? Fans have their speculations.

Prefer to Keep Private

Rick and his son Corey have expressed that this was a previously discussed decision among family and that they prefer not to release the exact reason to the public. Many fans have speculated that Harrison’s decision was motivated by the fact that Chris was not involved with the family business. Harrison wanted to include family members that took part in the success of a multi-million dollar business.

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Corey Harrison. Source: Instagram

On the day of his father’s passing, Risk wrote on Instagram, “He was my hero, and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad.” He continued by writing, “I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him.”

What Fans Have to Say

While the family stands by Harrison’s decision to exempt Chris from the will, what do fans think? The show has a loyal fan base, and many of them were surprised. After his death, many fans took to the Internet to express their curiosity. One fan wrote, “Sorry, I actually would like to know why he was left off. If he did not get along with the other brother or just did not get along with the dad.”

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Source: Instagram

However, the family’s lawyers have remained tight-lipped. They continue to say that Harrison never provided a reason for his decision. While this frustrated fans, the Harrison family has asked for their privacy during this hard time.

His Legacy Lives On

Since Harrison’s passing, the show rightfully took a brief pause in filming between seasons so they could collect themselves. Fans didn’t know if the show was going to come back on the air, but Rick gave the green light for season 16. It seems that Pawn Stars is as strong as ever, and the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop will be around for a long time.

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Rick, Richard, Chumlee, and Corey Harrison. Photo by Leftfield / History Channel / Kobal / Shutterstock

Harrison’s legacy will continue to live on through the amazing business he created, which is enjoyed by fans all around the world. Rick and Corey will continue to carry on the family name (with the help of Chumlee, of course).

Richard Harrison had a knack for determining the true value of antique items. Following is a story about a guy who bought a tank. Yes, a tank. And from eBay from all places. Check out his story.

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