June 28, 2009

Goodbye, Billy. I'll miss you.

I'm still deeply shaken by the news, as I’m sure are most of you who knew him. Any statement at this moment seems like an understatement. Perhaps this will come close: After today, the industry will never quite be what it once was.

Much has been written and will be written about Billy Mays the pitchman, the businessman, the reality show star. To many, he was just a caricature of the DRTV style of advertising. But I knew Billy Mays the human being -- and what a great human being he was. On this blog I once wrote: “He is a genuinely nice, humble guy who has one of the smallest egos in the industry.” I meant it.

Although most of our interactions were over business, Billy had a way of making them feel personal and comfortable. It was like you were talking to an old buddy you just happened to be hiring for your project. On the phone, he was always sincere, asking with genuine concern and interest about your life and family. In person, he would greet you with warm recognition, that easy smile and a firm handshake. Despite the wealth and fame, he never lost that down-to-earth, regular guy from Pittsburgh part of himself.

There is more I could write, and yet somehow none of it seems adequate. So for now I'll just say: Goodbye, Billy. I'll miss you.

Out of respect, this blog will not be updated again for the remainder of week. Click here for comments.


  1. All of us in the direct response industry who knew Billy and admired his enduring work and genuine down to earth style have lost a friend and the industry has lost an icon.

    Ron Perlstein

  2. We not only lost a good friend but someone who was respected and admired by all he came in contact with. All of us who worked with him are deeply saddened with the passing of Billy Mays. His kindness, consideration and willingness to help others is the legacy he leaves. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.


    John E. Miller and the entire staff of Hutton Miller

  3. Farewell my trusted Friend,
    I will miss our talks about the Lord, I will miss your spirit,
    You are truly an inspiration to all of us. God took notice of your love for your family, your loyalty to friends, and your never ending kindness,,,,, so it goes without saying that all of us did as well.
    Jesus said, "He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and beleives in me will never die"
    You beleived Billy, save a place for all of us

    We pray for the living, Debra, Elizabeth, Billy Jr. , and Billy's whole family. We are all here and Love you!!

    John, Tina, and Cassy Cammarano
    Zoom TV Products