His son, Jeff Gold tells the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/10HBabW) that Gold died of an apparent heart attack on Monday at his Los Angeles home.
Gold was 50 when he opened the first store in 1982.
Gold told the Times in 2003 that while working at a liquor store, he discovered that items he discounted to, say, 98 cents or $1.02 never sold out but a 99-cent label was magic.
His stores eventually spread to middle-class and even upscale neighborhoods in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
Gold became a multimillionaire but lived modestly.
The company was sold in 2011 for about $1.6 billion.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com