Restaurateur Ado Campeol, dubbed "the father of Tiramisu" by Italian media, has died aged 93.
Campeol was the owner of Le Beccherie, a restaurant in Treviso in northern Italy where the famous dessert was concocted by his wife and a chef.
The dish, featuring coffee-soaked biscuits and mascarpone, was added to their menu in 1972 but never patented by the family.
It has since become a staple of Italian cuisine, adapted by chefs worldwide.
There have been long-running disputes about the origin of tiramisu, including claims that it was served as an aphrodisiac at a brothel in Treviso.
Norma Pielli, who died in 2015, served a dessert from the 1950s that she called mascarpone slice until visitors to her family's hotel in the northern province of Udine apparently renamed it Tiramisu.
However it is widely thought that the recipe was developed in Campeol's restaurant in Treviso.
Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region, was among those who paid respects, tweeting that the city had "[lost] another star in its food and wine history".
Le Beccherie was opened by Campeol's family in 1939, and Campeol took over the business at the end of World War Two.
According to Chef Roberto Linguanotto, the dish was the result of an accident while making vanilla ice cream.
Mr Linguanotto dropped some mascarpone cheese into a bowl of eggs and sugar, and after he noticed the mixture's pleasant taste, he told Campeol's wife Alba.
The pair then perfected the dessert by adding ladyfinger sponges soaked in coffee, and sprinkling it with cocoa - calling it "Tiramisù", which translates into English as "pick me up".
The dish appeared in print in a 1981 issue of Veneto, a local publication dedicated to food and wine, and it is now one of Italy's best known desserts.
Variants of tiramisu feature alcohol like rum or marsala, but the original recipe - certified by the Italian Academy of Cuisine in 2010 - was alcohol-free because it was intended to be child-friendly.
UPDATE 17 November: This story has been amended to reflect broader claims to the invention of Tiramisu.