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TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead in Florida homeBy Erin DurkinDAILY NEWS WRITER Updated Sunday, June 28th 2009, 3:01 PM Showalter for NewsPitchman Billy Mays became famous for his infomercials.Related NewsArticlesTV pitchman Billy Mays hits NYCBrash TV pitchman Billy Mays, whose ubiquitous ads for household products like OxiClean and Orange Glo made him a pop icon, was found dead at his Tampa home on Sunday morning.The booming-voiced Mays, 50, died just hours after suffering a blow to the head during a rough plane landing on a US Airways flight.

It was unclear whether the bumpy landing contributed to Mays' death, but he complained about not feeling well before going to bed.

"All of a sudden as we hit, you know, it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping," Mays told Fox 13 in Tampa.

"It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head." He wrote on Twitter: "Just had a close call landing in Tampa.

The tires blew out upon landing.

Stuck in the plane on the runway.

You can always count on US Air." Mays' wife, Deborah, found him in bed at their home and called 911 when she couldn't revive him around 7:45a.m.

Tampa police said there were no signs of foul play.

Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said any connection between the rough landing and Mays' death would "purely be speculation." There were no reported injuries at the time of the landing.

An autopsy will be done on Mays today.

"My dad didn't wake up this morning," Mays' son Billy, 22, wrote on Twitter.

"It hasn't yet hit me but it's about to." "He's gone.

I'm gonna be strong for him," he later added.

"I'm thankful I got to talk to my dad last night.

I miss him immensely already.

But I feel him with me." Mays had no known major health problems, although he walked with a limp and was planning to have hip replacement surgery.

"Although Billy lived a public life, we don't anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days," Deborah Mays said in a statement.

"Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times." Billy Mays, who was born in McKees Rocks, Pa., got his start peddling products on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and never stopped hustling.

He detailed his philosophy in a visit to the Daily News this month: "Life's a pitch, and then you buy." Mays flashed his trademark smile and spoke in a toned-down version of his usual booming voice.

"I compare myself to a big-league slugger, a quarterback, the doctor who delivers the baby," he said.

"I'm not an inventor, but I'll take your product to the next level." He also had many admirers in his Tampa neighborhood, like Korene Shelton, 30, a bartender at Hula Bay, which Mays and his wife frequented.

"It was so neat that he was so approachable and it was so neat to spend some time with him," Shelton said.

"It's been a week of shock after shock.

With him being local it hit even harder." Mays starred with partner Andrew Sullivan in a Discovery Channel reality show "Pitchmen," which followed the infomercial kings as they searched for new inventions to plug.

"I hate to say it," Sullivan said.

"But the king is dead." With Larry McShane and Wade Tatangelo in TampaLoading...Ads by Yahoo!EmailPrintRssShareDiggStumbleUponFacebookSee all share links >>Del.icio.usMixxRedditPropellerNewsvineFurl

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/06/28/2009-06-28_tv_pitchman_billy_mays_found_dead_in_florida_home.html
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