Rick Harrison of ‘Pawn Stars’ shares battle with childhood epilepsy

WASHINGTON — Rick Harrison of the History Channel’s reality TV show “Pawn Stars” dukes it out with customers at his Las Vegas store every day, haggling with them as they try to sell or pawn their items.

But as a child, Harrison duked it out with a serious brain disorder, which he credits with saving his life.

Harrison, who is the national spokesman for the Epilepsy Foundation, is set to visit D.C. to participate in the foundation’s 8th Annual National Walk for Epilepsy on March 22.

“Epilepsy is a condition that really doesn’t get the press and everything that it needs,” Harrison said on WTOP Wednesday.

Harrison suffered from benign childhood epilepsy and had seizures. The muscle damage he endured from the seizures confined him to his bed, where he spent most of his time reading.

Harrison says “[reading] sort of saved [his] life.”

“The best way to entertain myself was to read, so I became very interested in history book,” Harrison told the Epilepsy Foundation.

Knowledge of history is paramount on “Pawn Stars,” where customers bring in artifacts with supposed historical significance to sell or pawn.

Harrison, who is seizure-free now, says the show has been good for business and he never expected it to become so popular.

“For four years when I pitched the show, everyone told me people aren’t going to watch a show about four fat guys in a pawn shop.”

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