South Yorkshire-born nightclub boss Peter Stringfellow has died after losing his battle with cancer.
The 77-year-old businessman, from Sheffield, had wanted to keep his illness private, died in the early hours of this morning, a spokesman said.
Known as the King of Clubs, he opened a string of venues across the world after starting his business empire in Sheffield in 1962 and gradually attracting a host of big name stars to his venues as his reputatipn grew.
His flagship London club, Stringfellows, opened in the city in 1980 and was a haunt of celebrities, international film stars, TV personalities, rock stars and models.
He later went on to open clubs in the United States.
Stringfellow's publicist Matt Glass said the flamboyant businessman had spent time in hospital.
He said: "It's very sad news. He passed away in the early hours of this morning. It was kept very private, he didn't want to tell. He wanted to keep it a secret."