Dead: June 28th, 2009
High of his Life: Billy Mays was King of the Pitch. Whereas Sales positions are typically dreaded or looked at as souless liars and leeches, Mays embraced the Art of Selling and took it to places it had never been before. He got his start selling MADE FOR TV items on the Atlantic City boardwalk, of all places, and from there went on to start his own company, star in a Discovery Channel show based around his skills, and become the most sought-after pitchman for all product promotion on the planet.
At the time of his demise, Billy Mays had become more of a household name then any of the products he was peddling.
Low of his Life: That being said, one could argue the “high” of Billy Mays life was in fact what killed him. Chronic, untreated hypertension led to heart disease, which was listed as the “primary cause of death” for Mays. BUT THAT’S NOT AT ALL! Massive cocaine use was listed as a “contributory cause of death” by Dr. Vernard Adams, a Florida medical examiner. And anyone who watched a B-Mays pitch wasn’t really all that surprised.
While being great at what he did… and lets not kid ourselves, Billy Mays was the best at what he did… but just cause I’m good at shoveling shit, that shouldn’t earn me a Nobel Priza, ya dig? He sold things called “Jupiter Jack”, “Mighty Putty Steel,” and “Kaboom!” Doesn’t that tell you enough?
Mays was a salesmen, and therefore earned his bread by convincing people they needed to spend money on things they didn’t actually need. He was a legalized con artist. He was King of Legalizaed Con Artists, but a con artist indeed.
Who See’s Him As a Hero: Pitchmen everywhere. Anthony Sullivan. The Sham Wow Guy. People who don’t know what Death of a Salesmen is really about.