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Billy Mays

Born: 1958-20-06 - Died: 2009-06-28
Cause of Death:
Heart Disease

Death Summary: William Darrell “Billy” Mays was found unresponsive by his wife in their Odessa, Florida home on the morning of June 28, 2009. He was pronounced dead at 7:45 am, appearing to have died sometime overnight.

On June 29, 2009 Dr. Vernard Adams of the Hillsborough County medical examiners office performed an autopsy on Billy Mays, and it was found that Mays suffered from hypertensive heart disease. Dr. Adams stated that heart disease was the likely cause of death, but nothing official could be released until the toxicology and tissue tests were complete, according to the LA Times.

Mays was onboard the US Airways flight that had its front tires blow out upon landing at the Tampa airport on Saturday June 27, 2009. It was made public that Billy had hit his head on the overhead storage bin during the rough landing. At the time it was unclear if this played a roll in his death. Out of the 138 passengers and five crewmembers, none were seriously injured.

Who was Billy Mays : Mays was a television direct-response salesperson (a.k.a. pitchman). He was probably most known for his promotion of OxiClean, Orange Glo, Mighty Putty and dozens of other products. His trademark blue shirt, beard and loud sales pitch arguably made him one of the more recognizable people on television.

Mays was learned his craft from the older generation of pitchmen and often said, “I was taught to pitch by a lot of old pitchmen. That's the kind of style I have.” Mays began his sales career on the Atlantic City boardwalk selling the Washmatik portable washing device among other things to vacationers and passerbies. Shortly after that, he found himself on the road for the next twelve years working home shows, auto shows and state fairs all across the United States.

During a Pittsburgh home show in 1993, Mays became quick friends with a rival salesman Max Appel, founder of Orange Glo International. Appel loved Mays pitching ability and promptly hired him to promote their line of cleaners (OxiClean, Orange Clean, Orange Glo and Kaboom) on the Home Shopping Network. You can see a Kaboom commercial below.

After the first day, Orange Glo International saw an increase in sales. With the success came the criticism for his abrasive manners during his infomercials. A Washing Post staff writer had the following to say about Mays, “a full-volume pitchman, amped up like a candidate for a tranquilizer-gun takedown.”

Mays always opened every pitch with the same line, “Hi! Billy Mays here for [advertised product].” It was quite brilliant; it became a pop culture catch phrase, which was often imitated.

With his success, Mays founded his own promotions company, Mays Promotions, Inc. where he also served as the CEO. His services as a pitchman were becoming highly sought after for many diverse products.

On April 15, 2009 the Discovery Channel began airing a television show entitled “Pitchmen”. The show was done documentary style and followed Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their jobs as pitchmen… hence the name. The duo appeared together on the June 23, 2009 episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, just five days before Mays’ death.

Popular YouTube videos about Billy Mays

70 Signatures in Billy Mays's guestbook

  1. Rylee Says:

    I love you , Billy ! You were awesome ! (:

  2. jessica crist Says:

    I will miss you. You where the best pitchmen ever.

  3. Blargh Says:

    I need some chipotla-way

  4. Hannah Says:

    Your soul will live on not only on t.v but in are hearts

  5. sridivn Says:

    oh i love you so much!!! and i love how you yell in the cericionals ( how ever you spel that!) bye love you and nmiss you now like tv is boring!!!!! love devah! <3

  6. Binh Says:

    the infomercial world will not be the same

  7. Ummmmm.... hi..? Says:

    I miss Billy Mays. He was my favorite person on commercials. R.I.P!!!

  8. happy camper Says:

    he was hot , he made me hard.

  9. nicole Says:

    i really liked billy.

  10. Rick Says:

    Miss you on TV. RIP

  11. Rayven Stanisch Says:

    i miss you oh so much! RIP! we all love you n still do!!

  12. no one Says:

    i miss hin :(

  13. Walter Bonds Says:

    GOD bless his family,Billy could sell any thing great pitch man,most of the stuff i got was because of him,never will be any one like him.GOD speed. LUV Man……

  14. mark Says:

    Healing for me!!


    very awesome

  15. jason Says:

    The motherfucker still annoys the hell out of me, even after death.



  17. Michael Says:

    RIP, you had the best most enthusiastic commercials i have ever experienced. You are the only man i can think of that could convince God to let you in to heaven if you went on a crazy murderous rampage

  18. Martha Says:

    i clicked on Business just to find Billy Mays’s guestbook. i dnt know why but i love your commercials because i loved the way you would just yell or talk loudly at the people. it always had made me laugh. I dont really like the new guy, hes not the same. his british accent throws everything off. Also i think the Epic Rap Battle they have you in is very direspectful. They have you die in the end nd bring the Shamwow guy in. It should not be there.

    For you who havent seen it but would like to..Epic Rap Battles of History, Billy Mays vs Benjamin Franklin.

  19. william lee Says:

    u will be missed

  20. zi xiu tang official website Says:

    Billy Mays | FamousDEAD
    zi xiu tang official website http://www.zixiutang-capsule.com/

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