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Dakota’ Fred Hurt, Star of Reality Show ‘Gold Rush,’ Dies at 80

'Dakota' Fred Hurt, a reality television personality who appeared in the first seasons of Discovery's Gold Rush and its offshoot Gold Rush: White Water, has passed away. He was 80.

Hurt's death was announced by his family on his official Facebook page, who said he passed away on Tuesday, July 11, a day after turning 80, from brain cancer.

"'Dakota' Fred Hurt passed away this morning in the presence of his loved ones. He bravely fought cancer while battling it. Many people liked and supported Fred, who touched many people's lives, according to the message.

After appearing in the reality series Gold Rush in 2010, where he and his son Dustin fought with other miners to discover gold in Alaska and the Klondike region of Canada, Hurt gained notoriety. Hurt began his career as a gold prospector in North Dakota.

Hurt appeared in the first four seasons of the Discovery reality show, where he quickly gained popularity. Viewers and other cast members lovingly referred to the father and son as "the Dakota boys."

Hurt and Dustin's own spinoff series, Gold Rush: White Water, which debuted in 2018 and ran through this year, was created because of their popularity. The show followed the father and son as they searched for riches using suction dredges in the turbulent whitewater creeks of Haines Borough, Alaska.

Gold Rush: South America and Gold Rush: The Legend of Porcupine Creek both featured Hurt.

Hurt's family asked others to make donations in Hurt's honor by sharing a link to the Mike Rowe Works Foundation in the Facebook post.

The majority of Fred's career had been spent in skilled labor, and the post noted that he was passionate about imparting these priceless abilities to others.

Todd Hoffman on "Hoffman Family Gold" Season 2's escalating family conflicts
Todd Hoffman on "Hoffman Family Gold" Season 2's escalating family conflicts
On Facebook, several friends and followers posted their sympathies.

One Facebook user commented, "Today is a sad day with the loose [sic] of Fred Hurt, not only a miner but a family man." "You fought a great fight, Fred; now rest easy, old timer. You did your part while on earth and shared your knowledge with many, many people who I'm sure were, are, and always will be grateful for what you gave to them," the statement continued.

The official Gold Rush Facebook page said, "Sending all our love and best wishes to Fred and those that loved, admired, and worked with him."

'R.I.P. Fred! You set a wonderful example! I'm grateful that the Gold Rush series allowed me to get to know and respect you. I'm one of many fans, too," added another supporter.