LONDON, Ont. - Sam Panopoulos, the man credited with inventing the Hawaiian pizza, has died at the age of 83.

According to an online obituary he'd been in hospital in London, Ont., when he passed away suddenly on Thursday.

Panopoulos was born in Greece and emigrated to Canada in 1954 where he and his two brothers operated a number of restaurants.

He said he made the first Hawaiian pizza in 1962 at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ont. after deciding that chunks of canned pineapple might make a tasty topping.

His culinary instincts eventually bore fruit -- his creation became a staple of pizza menus the world over, though it did have a healthy portion of critics.

Iceland's president, Guoni Johannesson, recently caused a minor online furor by pronouncing to some school children that pineapple did not belong on pizza, and suggested the combination should be banned.

Among those coming to the defence of Hawaiian pizza was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who pledged his support in a tweet.

Panopoulos' funeral is scheduled for Monday in London, Ont.