Another marketing coup took place in the 1970s atop an Egyptian pyramid when he reassembled a trampoline he had sneaked up and took a good bounce, his daughter said.
The sport long seen as the poor cousin of gymnastics took longer to crack the Olympics.
"There was a terrible lot of politics," Nissen told the Des Moines Register in 2001. "I introduced it in 40 different countries over the span of 30 or 40 years after World War II."
Nissen held more than 40 patents, according to USA Gymnastics. His other inventions included padded bleacher seats that fold up to create walls in a gym, and inflatable seat cushions for hunting and fishing.
After selling his trampoline business, Nissen moved to San Diego about 16 years ago.
An annual international trampoline competition in Switzerland is called the Nissen Cup, and what is now known as the Nissen-Emery Award has been given to the top male senior collegiate gymnast since 1966.
During a 2008 San Diego Union-Tribune interview, the 94-year-old Nissen stood firmly on his head and said: "There are really about three things in life that make you happy. Work and loving and creating."
But then he added a fourth -- acceptance for a creation. It was a triumphant nod to his bouncing canvas that had risen to Olympic sport.
In addition to his daughter Dagmar, Nissen is survived by his wife, Annie, a former Dutch acrobat; another daughter, Dian; and a grandson.