Alberto Zamperla, Amusement Park Impresario, Is Dead at 71


In 2019, Mr. Zamperla was inducted into the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Hall of Fame.

Alberto Zamperla was born on Feb. 3, 1951, in Pieve di Soligo, in the province of Treviso, north of Venice, to Antonio and Letizia Zamperla.

He attended a boarding school run by Salesian priests, graduated with a degree in metallurgy from the Industrial Technical Institute in Vicenza and served from 1975 to 1976 in the Italian army’s Alpine Cadore Brigade.

He took over the company from his father in 1994 and eventually divided his time between Vicenza and New York. In addition to his sons Antonio and Alessandro, he is survived by his wife, Paola; another son, Adriano; and three grandchildren.

He was known for making more of his company’s attractions accessible to children with disabilities and for contributing to nonprofits that benefited them. In 2015, he campaigned, exuberantly but unsuccessfully, for mayor of Venice with the slogan “No to boredom, yes to life.”

“I like to fly in the clouds around our beautiful planet, for at least one hundred days every year,” the company quoted Mr. Zamperla as saying. “I love living in New York City. I am proud to be an Italian Alpino. I am proud to be, above all, a citizen of the world. I enjoy knowing that my profession makes children of all ages happy across the globe.”

Mr. Zamperla counted himself among them. Indeed, he kept a robust collection of rubber ducks in his bathroom.

“I am a little boy,” he told The Financial Times in 2016, “and I will continue to be a little boy.”

Elisabetta Povoledo contributed reporting.