Last Updated on January 24, 2023
Who is Austin “Chumlee” Russell?
Austin Lee Russell is an American TV star and businessman popularly known as Austin Chumlee or simply Chumlee. Born in Nevada in 1982, he became famous for his role in the reality TV show, Pawn Stars.
The reality TV show, Pawn Stars, was produced by Leftfield Pictures and aired on A&E and the History channel. In Las Vegas, Nevada, the show is set in the famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. It is a family business run by Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison, and Corey Harrison.
|Full Name:||Austin Lee Russell|
|Popular Name:||Austin Chumlee or Chumlee|
|Birth Date:||September 8th, 1982|
|Siblings:||Sage and Terra|
|Birth Place:||Henderson, Nevada, USA|
|Ethnicity:||Part Scottish and American|
|Net Worth:||$5 million|
|Source of Wealth:||Reality TV, Business owner|
Early life and career information
Austin “Chumlee” Russell was born in Henderson, Nevada on the 8th of September 1982. He earned his stage name, “Chumlee,” when he was only 12. It was given to him by his friend’s father, who compared him to a walrus “Chumley” from the cartoon “Tennessee Tuxedo.” He has two siblings, Sage, his brother, and his sister Terra.
His close relationship with the Harrisons set him on his path to fame. His childhood best friend, Corey Harrison, is the child and grandchild of Rick and Richard Harrison – the owners of the famous Las Vegas-based Pawn Shop, Gold and Silver, established in 1989.
Russell started working in the pawnshop five years before the reality TV show first aired. His work was primarily to test items for authenticity, package them for sale and keep records of sales.
The pawnshop gained its footing when it was featured on an episode of “Insomniac with Dave Attell.” On seeing the reception to their shop, Rick Harrison pitched the pawnshop as a series to several production companies until the history channel picked it up.
The show debuted in 2009, focusing on the day-to-day running of a 24-hour pawn shop, inner workings that center around selling antique, historical, and collectible items. The central characters were Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison, Corey Harrison (Big Hoss), and Austin Chumlee.
Austin was known as pawn star’s “village idiot” on the show due to the several ill-advised decisions he made while doing business and his “less than ideal” ways of doing things. Ironically, this persona endeared viewers to him, and he even became a fan favorite as he recorded the most merchandise sales on the show. The show also went on to become the most popular one on the history channel.
The reality show was canceled in 2020, but it has been rumored that a reboot is in the works. Chumlee went on to open his store, where he sold vintage items. He later sold half of the company to Corey Harrison, “Big Hoss,” so he could efficiently deliver his services.
In 2017, he opened a candy shop in Las Vegas called Chumlee’s Candy on the Boulevard, right across the street from his first place of employment, the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop.
Austin Chumlee’s Net worth
Chumlee is one of the founding members of pawn stars and a valued member of the corresponding reality TV show. He is an avid collector of shoes. Also, he has many luxury vehicles like Maserati, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade, a 1964 Impala SS, and a 1986 Buick Regal (customized with hydraulic lifts on the front and back).
With these luxury properties, one can quickly tell that Chumlee is well off. This assertion is not far off, as Russell is estimated to be worth $5 million accumulated from his holdings, businesses, and per-episode pay of $25,000.
Lessons from the life of Austin Chumlee
Do Not Be Afraid to Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone
“They were making a short episode, and we had about 12 employees at the time. They went through everybody, saying, ‘All right, who’s going to be our fourth member?’ I didn’t watch too much TV, but I decided I’d go watch some TV, some reality shows, and I kind of realized what was missing was the funny part of the show; the whipping boy is what I called it at the time. Someone they could make fun of and laugh with.” ~Austin Chumlee
Austin decided to put himself out there by being the comic relief on pawn stars, and it is safe to say that it is a decision he has not regretted to date. He figured out what would be needed to make a show and delivered accordingly, and consequently became a fan favorite and one of the most popular reality TV stars to date.
There is Always an Opportunity to Learn
“We have to learn from the choices we make.” ~Austin Chumlee
We will make choices as we live, and sometimes they will not be good ones. The important thing as we lead our lives is that we learn and keep learning from our mistakes, our wins, and our experiences.
Don’t Be Blinded by Success
“If you let success change you, you’re not being true to yourself.” ~Austin Chumlee
Chumlee’s famous quotes show that he embraces change and growth, but the positive kind. Through the way he has led his life, Chumlee advises that we remain true to ourselves no matter what, as it would be a disservice to oneself to change because one is now thriving.