Sir Ken Morrison, who was instrumental in growing the Bradford-based supermarket Morrisons into one of the UK's largest retailers, has died aged 85 following a short illness, his family have said.
A statement from Sir Ken's family said he died peacefully at home in North Yorkshire.
Sir Ken, who was one of Yorkshire's richest men, stood down as chairman and chief executive of Morrisons in 2008.
The Yorkshireman joined Morrisons when he finished National Service in 1952 and just four years later became chairman and managing director, although he relinquished the latter role in 1997.
His association with the company started before the Second World War, however, when, aged nine, he helped his father on his Bradford market stall.
It was under Sir Ken's leadership that Morrisons opened its first town-centre shop in 1958 and first supermarket in 1961, both in Bradford.
In 1967 he led the company on to the stock market in London in a share offer which was 174 times oversubscribed as more than 80,000 investors tried to buy a stake.
Expansion across the North of England continued and in 1998 Morrisons opened its first store in the South - in Erith, Kent - before opening its 100th store in its centenary year in 1999.