Drayton Manor founder and owner George Bryan OBE has died at the age of 92, the theme park said today.
The Staffordshire attraction was opened by Bryan and his surviving wife Vera, now 95, in 1950.
The park was dramatically propelled into the limelight in 1994, when it opened the standup rollercoaster Shockwave.
The ride directly competed with neighbouring Alton Towers’ latest addition Nemesis, which opened in the same year.
Drayton Manor continued to attract at least half of the visitors of its much larger and more famous neighbour, attracting more families.
A statement said that the Tamworth park will continue to be family owned and run by Bryan’s children and grandchildren.
In 2004 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to tourism and his work a local health council.