Where Is Billy Mays Buried?

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, you couldn't watch television without seeing the familiar face of pitchman Billy Mays popping up during commercial breaks. Whether promoting lawn tools like the Awesome Auger or cleaning products like the iconic OxiClean, Mays had a level of salesmanship that was as enthusiastic as it was believable. No matter what he was selling, his powerful and bright demeanor made Americans race to their phones and order products ranging from extra-strength adhesives to kitchen tools.

The world lost Mays at a relatively young age. CNN reports that he died at his home in Tampa, Florida, in 2009 when he was only 50 years old. Based on the initial coroner's report, there was a bit of mystery surrounding his cause of death. According to USA Today, the medical examiner announced the TV personality's cause of death was a heart attack while he slept and that cocaine use was a contributing factor. Though not under the influence at the time of death, it was determined that Mays used it in the days leading to his heart attack.

This report did not sit well with Mays' family. They contested it and had an independent medical examiner conduct an investigation. After that report, it was determined that cocaine didn't kill Mays, though it wasn't disputed that he had used it in the past. Other signs of chronic cocaine use were absent in Mays's autopsy, indicating that his heart failure was most likely linked to mild obesity, a history of tobacco use, and a family history of heart issues (per USA Today).

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Mays is buried in his hometown

Mays was born on July 20, 1958, in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania (via Legacy). After getting some attention with his sales ability on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, he made his way to Florida, where he began a career with the Home Shopping Network. Mays and his wife made their home in Tampa. But after his death, it was decided that he not be laid to rest in the Sunshine State. Rather, his loved ones decided to have him interred in his hometown. 

He is buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in the heart of Allegheny County (via Find a Grave). His stone holds a likeness of him, one so realistic that it looks as if it might say his famous salutation, "Hi, Billy Mays here!" and begin pitching one of the dozens of products that made him a household name. Below are the words "Beloved husband, father, and son." But his final resting place still paid tribute to his career. The word "Pitchman" was etched into the bottom of the stone.

Mays leaves behind a memorable legacy

Mays' successful career might have been owed to a single act of kindness given to one of his sales rivals. While selling products at different public events, he met Orange Glo International founder Max Appel. The two were vying for audience sales at one such event when Appel's microphone broke. Mays gave him his own mic, and a friendship began. Taken by Mays' personality and unique salesmanship, Appel soon hired Mays to be the national spokesman for his growing company (via Fox News).

The Ding King, Mighty Shine, Turbo Tiger, and all the rest of the products his likeness would become attributed to helped pave the way to mainstream success. Had he not died at 50, he was sure to have made even more of a name for himself. He had his own reality series with fellow pitchman Anthony Sullivan, and he was making appearances on popular late-night television shows. 

Of course, someone as visible as Mays would not go without being criticized or parodied. Notably, the Comedy Central series "South Park" has featured Mays' likeness in the episode "Dead Celebrities." But at least one family member of Mays found the episode to be tasteful. The Tampa Bay Times reports that his son, Billy Mays III, told the outlet that seeing his father on the show made him "feel better about his father's passing." 

"It's like reassuring to know he really did something with his life," his son stated. "It's all fine by me."