|Born||Richard Kevin Harrison
March 22, 1965
Lexington, North Carolina, U.S.
Reality television personality
|Known for||Pawn Stars
|Spouse(s)||Kim (1982–1985; divorced)
Tracy (1986–2011; divorced)
Deanna Burditt (married July 21, 2013)
Richard Kevin "Rick" Harrison (born March 22, 1965) is a Las Vegas businessman and reality television personality, best known as the co-owner of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, as featured on the History series Pawn Stars. Harrison co-owns the pawn shop with his father, Richard Benjamin Harrison, which they opened in 1989. Harrison dropped out of high school in order to pursue his "$2,000-a-week business of selling fake Gucci bags".
Rick Harrison was born on March 22, 1965 in Lexington, North Carolina, the third child of Richard Benjamin Harrison, Jr. a U.S. Navy veteran, and Joanne Rhue Harrison. Harrison is the younger brother of Sherry Joanne Harrison (died aged six, with down syndrome), and Joseph Kent Harrison, and the older brother of Christopher K. Harrison. Rick Harrison's son, Corey Harrison, has mentioned that his grandfather stated that they are related to President William Henry Harrison. Harrison has indicated that he does not give much credence to this idea, though Harrison's father has stated that they are distantly related to Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of William Henry Harrison.
In 1967, Harrison's father was transferred to San Diego, California, and the family relocated with him. As a child, Harrison suffered from epileptic seizures starting at age eight, which would confine him to bed, and led to a lifelong love of reading. He became particularly enamored of a series of books by John D. Fitzgerald called The Great Brain, whose main character, a ten-year-old Utah con artist named Tom D. Fitzgerald with the ability to conjure up money-making schemes, greatly influenced Harrison. Harrison also developed a love of books in general, in particular on physics and history, with his favorite area of historical study being the British Navy, from the late 1700s to the early 1800s. Harrison attended Taft Middle School, which is part of the San Diego Unified School District, but dropped out during tenth grade.
The Harrison family relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, in April 1981 after the collapse of his parents' real estate business. When Harrison was 17, his girlfriend Kim became pregnant. Despite a subsequent miscarriage, the couple decided to marry. Two months after their wedding, Kim was pregnant again and their first child, Corey Harrison, was born on April 27, 1983. Within two years, their second child, Adam, was born. Harrison worked for his father in the Gold & Silver Coin Shop, and even worked repossessing cars. Soon after Adam's birth, Harrison and Kim separated, with Harrison and his second wife, Tracy, assuming the responsibility of raising his sons.
Rick Harrison and his father opened the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop less than two miles from the Las Vegas Strip in 1989. By 2005, Harrison and his father were loaning out about $3 million annually, which brought them about $700,000 in interest income. A year later, in 2006, Harrison was known in Las Vegas as a pawn broker having special sports items that came complete with a story, including a 2001 New England Patriots Super Bowl ring that belonged to American football cornerback Brock Williams. His business also served gamblers who, according to his son, often came in to "pawn something so they have gas to get back home."
According to Harrison in 2010, the items most often brought into the store are jewelry. Since the inception of Pawn Stars, Harrison's inventory now has a ratio of 5,000 items pawned per 12,000 overall. In 2010, the National Pawnbrokers Association awarded the Pawnbroker of the Year Award to Harrison for his contributions in enlightening the public about the pawn industry.
Harrison spent four years pitching the idea of making a show about a pawn shop after his shop was featured in the show Insomniac with Dave Attell in 2003, but his efforts did not yield success. In 2008, Brent Montgomery and Colby Gaines of Leftfield Pictures came up with an idea about a reality show based in a Las Vegas pawn shop and approached Harrison. The series was originally pitched to HBO, though the network preferred the series to have been a Taxicab Confessions-style series taking place at the Gold & Silver's night window. In a February 2009 YouTube video titled "Pawn star$", Corey Harrison promised to gun down an intruder with a handgun he displayed, and a woman screamed as she was removed from the store after demanding that the wedding ring her husband sold to the shop be returned.
Nancy Dubuc of the History Channel changed the format, which included on-camera experts appraising the items brought into the Gold & Silver as well as personality dynamics of the store's staff and patrons. Initially to have been titled Pawning History, the program was renamed Pawn Stars at the suggestion of a Leftfield staffer, playing off the term "porn stars" for more marketing appeal. The show features Rick and his father, Richard Harrison (generally referred to on the show as "The Old Man") along with his son Corey ("Big Hoss") and Corey's childhood friend and employee Austin "Chumlee" Russell. In January 2011, Pawn Stars was the highest rated program on the History Channel, and the second-highest rated reality show behind Jersey Shore.
Harrison appeared as himself, alongside his son Corey and Chumlee in "iLost My Head in Vegas", the November 3, 2012 episode of the American TV series iCarly. Four days later, he appeared as an antique store owner in "The Safe", the November 7, 2012 episode of the TV series The Middle.
In January 2014, Harrison became spokesperson for the Micro Touch One Razor, a personal care shaving product for males. Harrison appeared in a television commercial promoting the One Razor product line.
In June 2014, History premiered United Stuff of America, a series from the producers of Pawn Stars that focuses on notable artifacts that were used in important moments in history, such as the cane with which Andrew Jackson fended off a presidential assassin, the axe Abraham Lincoln used as a young rail splitter, and the pencils Ulysses S. Grant used to write his memoirs.
In July 2014, the game show Pawnography premiered on the History Channel. Harrison, Corey, and Chumlee compete against players in an attempt to prevent them from winning cash and items from the inventory of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
In 2012, Harrison, twice divorced, announced his engagement to Deanna Burditt, who was also twice divorced. The couple married on July 21, 2013, in Laguna Beach, California. Counting Cars star and car expert Danny Koker became an ordained minister and performed the ceremony, while Pawn Stars costar Austin "Chumlee" Russell served as a ring bearer.
Harrison has two sons, Corey and Adam, with his first wife Kim, and one son, Jake, with his second wife, Tracy. Adam worked at the pawn shop, and later became a plumber. He has no plans to appear on the show.
- Harrison, Rick (2011). License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver . Hyperion. 2011. New York. ISBN 978-1-4013-2430-8
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- Kantowski, Ron (July 26, 2006). "Ron Kantowski visits a Las Vegas pawnshop, where some special sports items come complete with a story, and others remain shrouded in mystery, waiting to be bought by someone who will put them in the place of honor they deserve". Las Vegas Sun. p. A8.
- Gayle Fee And Laura Raposa (July 31, 2006). "Inside Track: Lowell scene of 'Car Trouble' for Greek screen goddess Olympia". Boston Herald.
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- "Pezzed Off". Pawn Stars. Season 2. Episode 15. January 25, 20102. History. Check date values in:
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- Fixmer, Andy. "Pawn Stars: Our Most Revealing Reality Show". Bloomberg Businessweek. October 21, 2010
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- Seidman, Robert (January 25, 2011). "'Pawn Stars' Delivers 7 Million Viewers, An All-Time High for History". TV by the Numbers.
- Post, Paul (June 11, 2014). "Grant Cottage to be part of new TV series". Saratogian News.
- Dalseide, Lars (June 21, 2014). "Catch NRA Museum's Gun Gurus tonight on History Channel's United Stuff". NRAblog.com.
- Best Sellers. The New York Times. June 26, 2011
- Leach, Robin. "Exclusive: 'Pawn Stars' star Rick Harrison engaged to DeAnna Burditt". Las Vegas Sun. February 25, 2012.
- Gray, Mark (January 17, 2013). "Pawn Stars's Rick Harrison Sets Wedding Date". People.
- Gary, Mark (July 22, 2013). "Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars Marries Deanna Burditt". People.
- "Celebrity Weddings 2013". US Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- Bourdeau, Annette (March 3, 2012). "'Pawn Stars': 13 Things You Didn't Know About Chumlee, Rick And Corey". The Huffington Post.