Austin Russell, better known as Chumlee, made headlines back in March after he was arrested for possessing drugs and guns. Chumlee, who’s been a popular star of History Channel’s Pawn Stars since it premiered in 2009, was released on bail a couple days after his arrest. Since then, he’s been keeping a low profile, opting to focus on handling the charges in court, rather than trying to fight against the media’s presentation of his charges. While we wait for updates on the case, let’s look at Chumlee’s career so far.
Chumlee Before Pawn Stars
Austin Lee Russell was born on September 5, 1982, and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. He earned his nickname, Chumlee, when he was 12 years old, due to his resemblance to Chumly, the walrus from the 60s cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales. As a child, he became friends with Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, whose father and grandfather ran the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop opened in 1989, and as children, Chumlee and Corey spent a lot of time there. Chumlee started working there in 2003, initially just as a clerk behind the counter, writing sales tickets and helping make sure potential purchases were functional.