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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. Todd Says:


  2. Jim Says:

    FOr the time you have been on Earth, you gave people something to look forward to with those commercials that you did. I enjoyed them and you will be sorely missed by us all. My prayers are with your family as you go to heaven. RIP Billy!

  3. nessa Says:

    i loved his show. I will keep his family and friends in my thoughts RIP Billy

  4. Erica Says:

    rest in peace! i will miss you! my cloting actually worked with your suppilies! you were a good man!

  5. Mary& Jordan Says:

    My 5 year old son loved his commercials and he will be deeply missed by all

  6. knm Says:

    WOw!Can not belive this! Farrah,jackson and now you.We will miss you.You where the top pitchman. My sympathy goes out to your family and friends.

  7. Beka Says:

    Way to young to go & and a loss to the world. Your family will be in my prayers.RIP Billy

  8. Ellen Wagner Says:

    Big fan of the show “Pitchmen”
    Suprised to hear the news today.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends.

  9. Anthony Says:

    RIP billy when I would have to watch comercials yours were the only ones I enjoyed

  10. Rebekah Fischer Says:

    You will be missed RIP

  11. Tina Says:

    Michael Jackson’s death did not shock me. Farrah’s did not either…But this one has absolutely blown my mind! Wasn’t this gentleman just recently participating in a reality TV show?! Nonetheless, my heart goes out to his family. May he find peace and joy in heaven. RIP.

  12. Will Says:

    RIP Billy

  13. petrina boakai Says:


  14. :) Says:

    I’m going to miss you, but why did you yell all of the time?

  15. Mike Durkin Says:

    RIP Billy.

  16. luisa Says:

    We all will miss you.

  17. Jonathan Padilla Says:


  18. mark Says:

    we will miss you billy you where awsome :(

  19. La Obse de Luquillo Says:

    What an untimely death. Very shocking. He touch soo many lives. RIP.

  20. Penny Foor Says:

    Billy, you made me want every product you were selling. I’m so sorry I didn’t have the extra money to call in and order 1 of everything. I’m so sorry. Forgive me.

  21. Mark & Melissa Perdue Says:

    He will be deeply missed by all.Our heart goes out to his family.

  22. KC Says:

    WOW you left too soon
    You will be missed.

  23. No Body Says:

    Death was probably the only thing that would ever shut him up!

  24. stan teel Says:

    nobody will ever replace the greatest pitchman ever.he was unique,loud,affective and a very carring person.god bless you billy ,you will be missed but never foregotten.

  25. stan teel Says:

    greatest pitchman ever..but more importantly,a person people could look up to and trust.god bless you billy.you will be missed but never foregotten.

  26. Joseph L Says:

    God Bless you !!!!!!!!!!!! May you rest inn peace. Thank you , it was GREAT FUN !!. you will be missed ! god bless your family.

  27. Jason Byrne Says:

    R.I.P. Billy, you will be deeply missed not just by your family and friends, but by your fans like myself, I loved your show Pitchmen and watched every episode. May God hold you in the palm of His hand, and give you sweet serenity as your soul transcends to Heaven. My prayers and thoughts go out to the Mays family, as well as Anthony “Sully” Sullivan. R.I.P. BILLY!!

  28. billy mays jr Says:

    could he really talk without screaming hmmm

  29. shamwow Says:

    thank god hes finally dead. i hated him so much…fat prick

  30. Heather Johnson Says:

    I will always remember Billy’s show, he was the best salesman on TV!! Rest in Peace Billy Mays!!

  31. Heather Johnson Says:

    That is not right to write insults in someones remembrance book!! How would you feel if someone did that to you when you died!!

  32. Heather Johnson Says:

    That was to you “SHAMWOW”, why would you use that name if you “hated” him so much!! Give the man a little respect!!

  33. Brandon Corsi Says:

    I Could’nt agree more with Heather, this is not an insult book!! You will be missed Billy!! RIP!!

  34. Vanessa & Randall Drake Says:

    You are & always will be the “Ulitimate Pitchman”. There is no one else like you that just by sitting & watching you pitch the product, you can make people buy anything. May God Keep your family safe in his arms & May you pitch to the Angels now.

  35. joshua adkins jr. Says:

    im so sorry

  36. Tracie Bobb Says:

    We enjoyed and loved-ya kid you will be missed, God bless you

  37. Marsha Davis Says:

    So sorry to hear about the death of Billy Mays.
    I loved his commercials.

  38. Melissa Says:

    Pitchmen was awesome
    Rest in peace

  39. Sean Criswell Says:

    We will never forget the famous line “Hey! Billy Mays here!” you where a true inspire r.

  40. tj Says:

    go on billy you can sell it to god because he will love you

  41. Dave Says:

    You know what really sucks? HE’S STILL ON TV!!!!???
    I mean WTF! Die already you screaming dillhole!

  42. daves a faggot Says:

    fuck you dave your a faggot

  43. Kevin O'Neil Says:

    I indeed looked forward to seeing and hearing your pitches.Keep giving those pitches where you are,Billy.You’re the best

  44. TJ Says:

    i love ur shows billy RIP

  45. Eli Says:

    *sniff* he was brilliant, he’s probably selling coffins in heavem

  46. m j Says:

    there will never be another Billy Mays , americanna,icon that was truly #1 at his job, miss ya bro RIP

  47. =] Says:


  48. john Says:

    i’ll miss him

  49. jason Says:

    he should take over my body

  50. :( Says:

    rest in peace

  51. Rylee Says:

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

  52. jessica crist Says:

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

  53. Blargh Says:

    I need some chipotla-way

  54. Hannah Says:

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

  55. 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

  56. Binh Says:

    the infomercial world will not be the same

  57. Ummmmm.... hi..? Says:

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

  58. happy camper Says:

    he was hot , he made me hard.

  59. nicole Says:

    i really liked billy.

  60. Rick Says:

    Miss you on TV. RIP

  61. Rayven Stanisch Says:

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

  62. no one Says:

    i miss hin :(

  63. 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……

  64. mark Says:

    Healing for me!!


    very awesome

  65. jason Says:

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



  67. 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

  68. 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.

  69. william lee Says:

    u will be missed

  70. zi xiu tang official website Says:

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

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