Pawnshop owner, businessman, and reality TV personality; these are just a few of the balls that Rick Harrison expertly juggles and he is showing no signs of dropping one anytime soon. The North Carolina native first made a name for himself as one of the most prominent pawnshop owners in America. He subsequently gained celebrity status after the pawnshop was featured on the History TV series, Pawn Stars. Harrison has since expanded his business portfolio to other concerns as he continues to build his empire inch by inch.
His Circuitous Journey to the Top
Rick Harrison was born on the 22nd of March 1965, in Davidson, North Carolina. He, however, spent his formative years in San Diego, California as his family relocated there when he was just two years old.
Whilst growing up, Harrison fell into the habit of reading widely and came into contact with The Great Britain book series written by John D. Fitzgerald. This text inspired in him an unquenchable test for making money, and as such, he dropped out of high school in order to exercise his enterprising spirit. The young Harrison exhibited a natural aptitude for business and earned as much as $2,000 a week from selling fake Gucci bags.
His parents, however, had no such luck and as such, struggled with their own real estate enterprise. The real estate business eventually failed and the family was forced to relocate to Las Vegas in 1981. In the city of sin, Rick Harrison continued his enterprising ways and built up a small fortune. He later joined hands with his father, Richard “Old Man” Harrison, to open the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, located about two miles away from the Vegas strip, in 1989.
The Pawnshop experienced steady growth and by 2005, made about $700,000 in interest from loaning $3 million. It subsequently became quite popular among Las Vegas residents.
Transforming from Pawn Shop Owner to Reality TV Star
Gold & Silver Pawnshop made its first media feature in the Comedy Central show, Insomniac with Dave Attell, in 2003. Rick subsequently began pitching the idea of a pawn shop reality TV show and after four years, it was accepted by The History Channel. The show was originally billed as “Pawning History” but it was later changed to “Pawn Stars”, a marketing strategy as it played off the term “porn stars”.
Pawn Stars debuted in 2009 and features Harrison, his father, his son Corey, and Corey’s childhood friend, Austin Chumlee Russell. The show basically documents the day-to-day happenings at the Gold & Silver Pawnshop. It also captures the inevitable squabbles that arise amongst the cast or even between themselves and members of the public.
Since it’s launch, Pawn Stars has grown to become one of the most loved shows on American TV. It was History Channel’s highest-rated show in 2011. The reality TV series is also broadcast in 150 countries and in about 138 languages. Pawn Stars’ continued existence was however threatened in 2016 after cast member, Chumlee, was charged with multiple offenses relating to drug and firearms possession. Fortunately for the young man, he was able to reach a deal with prosecutors which saw him escape jail time. He was only given a three-year probationary sentence and this reduced the blowback for the show. Pawn Stars thus remains on the History Channel as its 16th season premiered in 2019.
Third Time Hopes to be the Charm as Rick Harrison Has Been Married Three Times
Rick Harrison has been married thrice and we will be watching to see if the third time is the charm. The reality TV star first got married to his high school sweetheart, Kim Harrison, in 1982. The union produced two sons; Corey and Adam, before the couple divorced three years later.
Following the split, Rick met and fell in love with a lady named Tracy Harrison. The pair tied the knot in 1986 and their union lasted for a good 25 years before coming to a sad end in 2011. During the course of the marriage, Rick welcomed a third child, a son named Jake.
Harrison has since moved on to get married to a former legal worker named Deanna Burditt. The lovebirds share some similarities as Deanna had been equally married and divorced twice. She also has three daughters courtesy of her previous unions.
Rick and Deanna reportedly first met at a Las Vegas restaurant in 2011. They subsequently commenced a relationship and a year into their romance, Rick popped the big question. Deanna said yes and the couple tied the knot at Laguna Beach in July 2013. They subsequently embarked on a camping trip for their honeymoon. The couple has since established an enviable union and is living in relative bliss. Unlike other celebrity spouses, Deanna has no desire to be famous and as such, she shies away from appearing on her husband’s TV show. She is rather content to provide behind-the-scenes support for her hubby.
His Eldest Son Plays a Pivotal Role in the Family Business
As earlier stated, Rick Harrison has three sons; Corey, Adam, and Jake. Adam and Jake are busy pursuing their own paths in life while the eldest, Corey, has become a pivotal part of the family business.
Corey started working in his family’s pawnshop at the age of nine. He has since risen to the position of manager and was made a partner in 2013. Corey also seems to be emulating his father’s footsteps on a personal level. He has been married and divorced twice. His first divorce was in 2015 while the second divorce was in 2018. One cannot rule out another union in the future and we can only hope that his third try at marriage will work out for him just as it seems to be working out for his old man.
Fulfilling his Childhood Dreams
When Rick Harrison attended the Centennial High School every day as a teenager, he would ride past a house that he promised would belong to him one day. In 2013, the Reality TV star fulfilled that dream, purchasing the house located near Ann Road and Durango Drive in the far northwest valley. The house, according to Harrison, has had only one previous owner who used it as a Mormon Church. The first floor contained a master suite, kitchen, living room, dining room, family room, two stairways, and an office. Harrison utilized the spacious house for throwing parties and just generally relaxing.
In 2016, however, he put up his dream house for sale and it went for two times what he got it for at $2.4 million. Harrison did have to refurbish the property from top to bottom after he bought it so the next owner looked to have gotten a pretty neat deal.