Fact Check

No, 'Hardcore Pawn' Star Les Gold Isn't Dead

“As you can see, I’m not dead," he said on TikTok.

Published April 10, 2023

 (Desiree Navarro/Contributor, Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Desiree Navarro/Contributor, Getty Images
"Hardcore Pawn" star Les Gold is dead.

On April 9, 2023, an online death hoax began to spread claiming that "Hardcore Pawn" star Les Gold had died.

"R.I.P. Les Gold 1950-2023" a TikTok video claimed. It showed pictures of Gold, including an appearance he made on "Good Morning America," and with his family.

les gold is not dead (Twitter)

We also found the claim repeated on Twitter, along with a link pointing to a URL (https://cbs-news.us/) that appeared to be a spoof of CBS News' domain name. The web page at that URL subsequently disappeared.

Gold is not dead. His son, Seth Gold, posted a video to his verified TikTok account addressing the video on April 10, 2023. Gold appeared in the video and said:

"As you can see, I'm not dead. But I do appreciate all the comments being made of how concerned they were that I did die."

He also posted the video to his own TikTok account, with the caption "THE RUMORS ARE FALSE !"

Even before the video was posted, no reputable sources had reported Gold died. If the claim were true, obituaries and memorials would have been published paying tribute to his life and career. 

We've previously fact-checked claims about other celebrity death hoaxes, including false claims that Steve Harvey and Tina Turner had died.


"Darnell Jawatowitz on TikTok." TikTok, https://www.tiktok.com/@pawnpresident/video/7220469602218773803. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.

"Fact Check: Is Les Gold Dead Or Still Alive? American Pawnbroker Death Hoax Debunked." PKB News.

Ibrahim, Nur. "Tina Turner Is Not Dead, Despite YouTube Death Hoax." Snopes, 24 Jan. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tina-turner-youtube-death-hoax/.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "Steve Harvey Is Still Alive, Despite Online Death Hoax." Snopes, 5 Mar. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/steve-harvey-death-hoax/.

"Seth Gold on TikTok." TikTok, https://www.tiktok.com/@seth_hardcorepawn/video/7220458864506834219. Accessed 10 Apr. 2023.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.